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Klopp hails depth as much-changed Liverpool keep pace in title race

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iverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hailed his squad depth after an “absolutely outstanding” performance from a heavily-rotated side kept their quadruple bid on track with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle.

Klopp made five changes to his side for the Saturday lunchtime kick-off following a tight turnaround from Wednesday night’s Champions League victory over Villarreal.

The German left the likes of Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara on the bench but Naby Keita’s goal ensured the Reds kept up the pressure on Manchester City, climbing to the top of the table, at least until the defending champions play Leeds later on Saturday.

A lack of depth was once considered one of Liverpool’s biggest disadvantages compared to City but that is no longer the case, with Klopp’s deputies performing admirably.

“It’s the most difficult of circumstances,” Klopp told BT Sport. “A team in form, a crowd waiting for ages for proper success, now they’re having some. Coming here with five changes and building pretty much a new setup is really difficult, so the performance was absolutely outstanding. I loved it. We controlled the game in so many ways.

“The only plan they had was the long ball to our right side. The impact we have from the bench is outstanding. Joe Gomez, what a game. Naby Keita, what a game. James Milner, what a game. Diogo Jota – my god, what a game. And Joel Matip.

“Our people were outstanding and Newcastle are obviously a really passionate crowd. Winning here is special.”

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