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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Adrian gave an insight into the winning mentality Jurgen Klopp has instilled at Liverpool as he savoured the way “the young ones” beat a full-strength Everton team.
Liverpool remain unbeaten at Anfield since 2018 after winning the 235th Merseyside derby and will bring up a year undefeated against English clubs on Tuesday, apart from a penalty shootout loss in the Community Shield and a glorified youth team’s 5-0 thrashing by Aston Villa in the League Cup.
Liverpool began without 15 players, with Klopp resting nine before James Milner limped off to become the seventh injured member of the squad, leaving them with three debutants, plus Neco Williams, who was making his second appearance. The 18-year-old Curtis Jones marked his fifth game for his hometown club with a spectacular winner.
Klopp has called his side “mentality monsters” and goalkeeper Adrian, who made two fine saves while deputising for Alisson, said the understudies had the same attitude and style of play as the absent regulars.
“Every time I have the opportunity to play I give my best and try to help my team and if not, I support from the bench and the dressing room,” said the Spaniard. “I think everyone involved in the team is in the same mentality so it is why we are doing so well.
“We know the philosophy of Liverpool FC right now. Everyone knows our style of play, our tactics and it is not [an excuse] because we didn’t play any games before. They play with their starting 11 and I think the kids did really, really well.
"The oldest players and most experienced players on the pitch support them in every second. All the young ones’ performances were top. Everyone was excited and looking forward to the game. We were ready to play and wear the Liverpool shirt with pride for everyone.”
The loss of Milner meant Yasser Larouci, 15 years his junior, came on for his first senior appearance in a back four featuring three rookies.
“It was a bit of a shock because Yasser has to come without a warm-up, right away to a very intense game but I couldn’t feel any panicking players on the pitch," Adrian said. "Everyone was confident, trusting in each other and doing the job and we got a great game.”
Midfielder Pedro Chirivella, at 22 and making his ninth appearance, was almost one of the senior figures and tipped Jones, one of five teenagers Klopp used, for a bright future.
“I’ve known Curtis for a long time and I’m super happy for him,” he said. “He has this special thing that only a few players have and I’m very, very happy that he is showing what a talent he is.
“I have played with the likes of Neco, Harvey [Elliott] and Curtis for a long time. At the end of the day, we just play football and it doesn’t matter if it’s Under-23s or first team. When Liverpool plays our way then it’s hard for any team, no matter the players who are on the pitch.”
Updated: January 6, 2020 02:27 PM
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