Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has admitted that both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino needed a rest ahead of Wednesday's 5-2 win over Everton, which is why the pair were dropped to the bench.
Sadio Mané was the only regular starter in Liverpool's attacking line, with Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri given the nod over Salah and Firmino.
Speaking after the game (via the club's official website), Klopp revealed that his side needed to be freshened up, but he praised the impact of those who came in and led the side to victory.
"Making five changes can lead to some problems, of course. I didn’t see any of them," he said. "We have to make changes, that’s clear; probably some people were not too happy that we did that before a derby but we cannot make differences on that. It was clear it would be a really intense game so we needed fresh legs, as many as we could get.
"The only two boys I didn’t bring tonight were Joe [Gomez] and Naby [Keïta
Coming into the game, both Firmino and Salah had struggled in front of goal for Liverpool. Firmino has just four goals in 22 appearances, while Salah currently sits on nine in 19, and it was thought that the two were perhaps struggling for fitness.
"That was the reason why we made the changes, then as a manager you hope for it," Klopp confessed. "When the boys then deliver like they did tonight, it’s the best feeling you can get as a manager actually, that it worked out like that. It didn’t surprise me but I didn’t expect it in that – not perfection – but that manner.
"It was really good and helped us, not only the three points but that we could make the changes and the boys now know. Because it’s easy for me to tell them often, very often, how good they are but if they then don’t play it’s not too easy for them to always understand what I say.
"But if they play and deliver like they did tonight, it’s a very, very important sign for the whole squad, absolutely."