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Liverpool boss Klopp explains surprise attacking substitutions for Ajax win

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has explained his surprise substitution call for the second-half of their Champions League win at Ajax.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were all replaced on 59 minutes of the 1-0 triumph in Holland on Wednesday.

With Liverpool ahead, Klopp made use of the five-substitute rule in the competition by introducing Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and Xherdan Shaqiri for the final half-hour.

Klopp said: “You could see it was an intense game for the three up front.

“It was hard for the starting front three, and I was really happy we could do that (replace them).

“I was not in doubt about the quality of the boys (who came on). The game was pretty wild and we defended all together.

“We were defending 4-5-1 and both wingers needed to be really involved in the defending. The moment you win the ball, then there are big spaces for counter-attacks, and we thought it made sense to bring on fresh legs.

“All three who came on are in really good shape, they all really helped a lot.

“Shaq won deflections, which was pretty special! Taki in both directions was incredible between the lines and Diogo is a machine, he can do a lot of punishing of opponents in one-on-one situations.

“We didn't finish them off unfortunately."

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Paul Vegas

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