Jurgen Klopp loves a changed line-up in the Merseyside Derby, and last night Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Adam Lallana all benefited from the squad rotation. Although Origi—because of his goals and history against the Ev—got most of the plaudits, Shaqiri also put in a solid performance, and also got himself back on the score sheet.
It was the first time we saw the Swiss international in months, and it was understandably an exciting moment for the player, not just to play, but to contribute.
“I think you saw [how much I enjoyed it] on the pitch,” Shaq told the club’s official website. “It was unbelievable to be back on the pitch, I was very happy when I knew I’d play. I wanted to have a good performance.
“I’ve worked hard for the last few months - I’ve been injured and worked very hard. So I’m very happy to be back. I’m in good shape and very happy to be back.
“[The first half] was unbelievable. We obviously changed formation a little bit and some players played who didn’t play a lot for a few weeks.
”We did very well. It’s big credit for the team; you can see how good we are. We started very well, of course it was a little bit dramatic and we have to learn from our little mistakes, but that’s football.
”It’s a busy period now and we have to go on and win games, that’s the most important thing in football. It was a good night for us Reds.”
It was a very good night indeed. Everton had been hanging their hat on the dubious claim that the draw at Goodison Park last year cost Liverpool the title. The Reds needed to exact some revenge. And it was mostly the rotated players who did the most damage, keeping the game out of Everton’s reach for most of the match.
Hopefully Shaqiri remains a good option, either off the bench or as a sub, and can continue making an impact like he did last night. Most fans were probably not expecting five goals from that line-up. But once again Klopp proved that he knows a thing or two about football.