Jurgen Klopp played three teenagers against Norwich City on Tuesday. The Liverpool boss was caught off guard by one aspect of their play.
It’s not often that you can play three teenagers away at a Premier League ground and come away with a win. Liverpool managed that on Tuesday, however, as they went to Carrow Road and beat Norwich City 3-0.
Two goals from Takumi Minamino and another from Divock Origi sealed it. Those two weren’t the headline, however, as Liverpool showed off some teenage talent.
Both Kaide Gordon and Conor Bradley started the game, making up Liverpool’s right flank. Tyler Morton then came into midfield for the second half to make it a third debut from the Academy.
None of the trio managed to assist or score but they each had their moments. Gordon showed wonderful ability to run with the ball, Bradley looked confident at right-back, and Morton really helped control the midfield after the break.
But none of that particularly surprised Jurgen Klopp, it seems. Instead, it was another trait that really caught him off guard.
Klopp on teenagers vs Norwich
“The kids did exceptionally well, I have to say,” he said, per Liverpoolfc.com. “All three, physically really strong and that’s maybe the biggest surprise, that they could go 92 minutes.
“I am really happy for them, it was a big moment for the boys.”
It’s a great point from the boss. They don’t look particularly strong but the youngsters were able to hold their own and last the full 90 minutes against senior opposition. It’s not easy to do that – physical battles can wear you down fast.
That does suggest that they’re ready for more minutes – though, they’ll presumably have to wait until the next round of the EFL Cup. But when they do get their chance, Liverpool can expect reliable performances.
Hopefully, we do see them again soon. This game will have given everyone confidence – from Klopp trusting the kids, to the players themselves knowing they can handle senior football.