Klopp pleased with Liverpool second string after Porto draw

Klopp pleased with Liverpool second string after Porto draw

The Liverpool manager was happy to see some of his backup players on good form but insisted that rotation hadn't been his priority

Sam France

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was happy to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Porto but stressed that rotation hadn't been his main priority despite holding a 5-0 lead from the first leg.

Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk started on the bench and Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané were both withdrawn in the second half, but Liverpool never looked like giving their opponents a chance of finding a way back into the tie.

With a trip to Manchester United coming up this weekend, it was put to Klopp that such rotation could be hugely beneficial - but the German was keen to put across that his focus was purely on seeing out the game.

More important to 'keep the rhythm'

"Of course, it helps [to rotate] but it was as important to keep the rhythm," Klopp said in his post-match press conference.

"We are used to it - we have a game, prepare for the game, don't train too much. For example Mo Salah could either train tomorrow or play 20 minutes tonight.

"Sadio, for him, it was not intense even when he was really lively. It was not about rotation, only about finding the right line-up for tonight."

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Lallana and Ings stake their claim

Adam Lallana impressed on his full return from injury, and Danny Ings twice went close to breaking the deadlock after replacing Firmino in the second half. He was denied on both occasions by the in-form Iker Casillas, but Klopp was pleased with how both players performed. 

"For Adam, it was very important to play 90 minutes. You could see he got more and more used to it, got more and more rhythm again.

"Ingsy got a few minutes, Joe Gomez played after two or three weeks.

"Now we can prepare for the Manchester United game. I'm looking forward to it."

Liverpool go on to the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time since 2008/09, when they were beaten 7-5 on aggregate in a classic tie with Chelsea.