dglobalnews.com Coutinho defied club wishes to play v Stoke
Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Sports | By Jeannette Edwards

Coutinho defied club wishes to play v Stoke

Liverpool had to resort to bringing Coutinho and Roberto Firmino off the bench to get a 2-1 win against Stoke yesterday.

"Firmino after the last game had a bit of a groin problem and was a bit exhausted, maybe he could have started but we had to leave him out of training for three days, so it was his first session today!"

The Reds fell a goal behind just before half-time when Jon Walters headed in Xherdan Shaqiri's cross.

Klopp's hand was forced at half-time and he removed teenagers Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold with Coutinho and Firmino coming on, even though the manager had decided with the sports science team before kick off both were only good for about 30 minutes' worth of football.

The Belgian produced an inspired performance, including two spectacular saves in the second half.

Liverpool winning the game after a truly abysmal first half was a welcome relief for players and fans alike.

"We made a change to the system but we couldn't train it and that is what everyone could see - everyone did not feel comfortable in the system". Brilliant but for half-an-hour it was hard, " Klopp said.

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"I thought a lot about it and no one understands it but that was my decision".

In true Klopp fashion, he didn't congratulate Mignolet - instead, he trolled him for not holding onto Charlie Adam and Saido Berahino's shots. The team played well, created more chances and then we scored but I think the team played well not just individuals.

"This reaction is what you need to be successful", added Klopp. The Belgian goalkeeper made two astonishing saves to keep his side on course for the victory.

"We need more points on the board, that's clear", he said. "It wasn't as if we didn't use them -- we involved them in the game".

"We knew we had problems today, but it's not about moaning about the problems, you have to take the situation as it is".

"Phil lost three kilograms in three days - for most of us that would be good news but for a professional footballer it is not that good".

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