Coutinho climbs off sick bed to revive Liverpool


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp stands by his decision to rest stars Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino and field an unpractised formation but accepts luck played a significant part in the 2-1 win at Stoke. "There are a lot of points to fight for and every game for us is very important".

Republic of Ireland worldwide Jonathan Walters broke the deadlock in the first half to leave Liverpool facing a potentially catastrophic defeat in the top-four race.

But, aware Coutinho was struggling with diarrhoea and Firmino had been tired, Reds boss Klopp admitted it was a big decision to bring on the Brazilians at the break as he feared they would only last 30 minutes.

"I can imagine Stoke feels the exact opposite because they were really close to getting points today - all three or maybe one".

"I am happy for that".

Liverpool wanted to leave Coutinho at home for Saturday's trip to Stoke, but the Brazilian told management he could play, despite missing training all week due to illness.

"Roberto said "I'm really done" after two games for Brazil".

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"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".

"That is why the keeper is there to make saves in important moments and help your team out and the feeling is better still when you win the game after all that, " said the Belgium worldwide.

"This was a good feeling for me but I'm not one who looks to myself or my own performance".

Klopp showered praise on goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after he superbly denied Charlie Adam and Saido Berahino in the second half.

Klopp's gamble ultimately paid off as he just about got 45 minutes out of Coutinho and Firmino in a dramatic second half.

"No. The team played well, created more chances and then we scored, but I think the team played well not just individuals, " he added after the victory which kept them in third place and put the pressure on Arsenal, in sixth and nine points behind with three matches in hand.

"Sometimes these are the moments you need as a player, and for us as a team we need a goalkeeper in a moment like this".