Jurgen Klopp praised his “Ferraris in the garage” following Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Southampton to extend the Premier League title fight to the final day of the season.
Following Saturday’s grueling FA Cup final triumph over Chelsea, Klopp made nine changes at St Mary’s and was missing a number of key players, notably Sadio Mane and injured duo Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.
Manchester City looked to run away with the title after Nathan Redmond’s spectacular solo effort, but the visitors fought back and pulled within a point of the leaders thanks to goals from Takumi Minamino and Joel Matip.
“Making nine changes, if it hadn’t worked out it would have been 1,000 per cent my responsibility,” said Klopp.
“Now it worked out and it’s 1,000 per cent the boys’ responsibility because I can ask for a lot, the boys have to do it and I thought they did it exceptionally well.
“I am so happy about the performance. It was a bit touching, honestly. You think: ‘Wow, these boys.’ It is like having Ferraris in the garage.
“You let them out and they do it like this. Harvey (Elliott), I’m not sure the last time he played, Curtis (Jones) no rhythm, he has only played from time to time, Takumi Minamino, it is a crime he is not playing more often.
“(Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain did not even play and he is in outstanding shape. It is really tough for the boys sometimes. Whatever happens this year happens because of this group. They are exceptional and they have showed that again.”
Liverpool, who are still in contention for an unprecedented quadruple, will host Wolves at Anfield on Sunday, hoping for a significant favor from Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa away to Manchester City.
Klopp will want to bring back some of his best players for the thrilling weekend finale before focusing on the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28.
The German still has a chance to unseat Pep Guardiola’s defending champions.
“If I was in the other situation, then I don’t feel like I am champion already, that is how it is,” he said.
“From my point of view in second you are thinking that of course City will win that game. But it is football.
“We have to first win our game. It is not like we are talking about Wolves like they are not there.
“It is possible, not likely but possible. That is enough.”
Liverpool lost Joe Gomez through injury in the match against Southampton
“I hope we are lucky – Joe himself has pain but not too much,” said Klopp.
“He got a real shock to the system but he’s sitting in the dressing room and when I spoke to him he was in a good mood. I think we probably were lucky but we have to figure that out.”