Jurgen Klopp was a happy man after seeing his Liverpool side advance to the Carabao Cup fourth round with a 3-0 win over Norwich.
Klopp made nine changes to his squad giving more playing time to fringe players and also several youngsters a chance.
There were debuts for Kaide Gordon, 16, and Conor Bradley, 18, while Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi were both on the scoresheet.
The performance of center-backs Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate particularly pleased Klopp.
This position was a real weak point last season with Gomez and Virgil van Dijk absent for extended periods, leaving Joel Matip the only recognized center-back at times.
Jordan Henderson and Fabinho replaced, while emergency cover was put in place during the January transfer window.
The situation this season is much more comfortable, and Klopp told talkSPORT: “We have five outstanding center-backs which, after the history we had last year, is very important to us. They are all exceptional.
“Who’s in the best shape will play. It is like that and we will need all of them. An intense period looms.
“The organization of the first half was not good, but the two center-halfs were really solid. When they played the ball behind the last lines, then we were really there and won the battles.
“It was good to watch. This is what center-half games should be like. When your organization is down, you still need lifeguards and that is what they were.
“And (Caoimhin) Kelleher made the best saves. On top of that, the children played in an exceptional way.
“Takumi (Minamino) hasn’t had too much playing time yet, but when he gets into this form of football he will have 100% playing time.
“Divock (Origi) with a first-class goal, which was good for him too.”
Tyler Morton also came off the bench at half-time to replace Naby Keita and Klopp was particularly happy to see his youngsters face some first-team action.
He added: “We had them with us during the preseason and what surprised me the most was that they can go with intensity, in terms of training.
“We leave them out from time to time when we have double sessions and they don’t lead to the second session, but they never get tired.
“Connor Bradley had a really hard job and I don’t know how many sprints he did.
“Kade sprinted 50 or 60 yards in the 87th minute like the game had only started.
“Tyler came and helped us a lot. He played this post well. He passed the ball in the right spaces, defended in the right spaces.
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