Jurgen Klopp pleased as unorthodox Liverpool lineup routs Brighton
Jurgen Klopp was pleased with the way his players overcame adversity and adapted to an unorthodox lineup for the 5-1 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool ran out comfortable winners at the Amex Stadium through goals from Roberto Firmino (two), Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho and a Lewis Dunk own goal, with Glenn Murray scoring a penalty for the hosts.
With Joel Matip out injured with an adductor injury and Ragnar Klavan only fit enough for a spot on the substitutes bench after illness, Klopp started with a three-man defence consisting of Dejan Lovren and midfielders Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Speaking at his postmatch news conference, Klopp said: "We had big problems lineup-wise. You always should be able to react, but it was a little bit close to training that we got information.
"We couldn't get it earlier and then from the medical department ill, ill, injured or not cool -- and all of them were centre-halves and that makes life difficult. We had to make a quick decision, we had 20-odd minutes in training.
"The boys did really well and it was difficult place for us. For this game today, the formation fitted really well because we needed the wingers and we had it with the wing-backs."
The win on the south coast means Liverpool have now picked up 16 points out of the last 18 on offer since they were beaten 4-1 by Tottenham Hotspur in October.
"I am happy about [our form]," Klopp added. "Results-wise it looks like we are flying but unfortunately it is not [like this] because we have to work really hard for it, but that's OK.
"We speak here about the game which is already an hour [ago]. Even when I answer your questions I am much more interested in the next game, to be honest.
"It was good but it's important that it is good because we need the points, we want to be in the situation, we want to stay as close as possible to the teams in front of us. We can't get them immediately because obviously they win a lot of games, but we want to be in a position as close as possible."
The fixtures keep coming up quickly for Liverpool, with Klopp, who made six changes at Brighton, adamant that rotation is a necessity during this busy run.
Liverpool take on Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday before they welcome Sam Allardyce's Everton to Anfield next weekend.
"We have to do it. It's always intense," Klopp added. "When you look in the dressing room after the game, they are all really done.
"We changed again six times, but it's really hard for the boys. Now we play Wednesday in a very, very important game against Moscow and then we play the derby on Sunday. That's the life of the players with the games that are coming up. We need the results."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.