A second-string Reds side eased through to the last 16 of the competition thanks to a comfortable victory at the iPro Stadium but the manager feels his team can do even better
Jurgen Klopp praised his Liverpool players for a job well done after they eased to a 3-0 win over Derby County in the EFL Cup – but insisted there is still room for improvement.
Goalkeeper Loris Karius and midfielder Marko Grujic were handed their first starts as Klopp shuffled his pack following the 2-1 win over Chelsea in Premier League action.
Despite seven changes to the starting XI, Liverpool brushed aside their Championship opponents at the iPro Stadium to book their place in the last 16 of the competition.
Ragnar Klavan opened the scoring in the 24th minute before the visitors hit Derby with two goals straight after half time, Philippe Coutinho doubling their lead before setting up Divock Origi for a third.
“We were better and deserved to win, we created chances,” Klopp told LFC TV.
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“Could we have done better? Yes, a lot. Is it important? No, because that’s what you want to have. You need to be 100 per cent professional, be really serious and take games like these like they are.
“They could be difficult but it wasn’t difficult because of us. The opponent was ready for each opportunity but we didn’t give them [any]. So it was good.
“First half, we could have been a little bit better in the last pass. Second half, we could have been better in the counter-attack.
“That would have changed the result a little bit but we scored the goals, so it’s not that I would say ‘I would rather score this goal than this goal’. I take them like they are, 3-0, all good.”
Klopp was particularly pleased to give Danny Ings the opportunity to make his first appearance of the season.
The forward – who missed much of the previous campaign with a serious knee injury – replaced the impressive Coutinho in the 63rd minute.
“Of course [it was good to see him]. It was a difficult time [for him], I know this but, like all the others, he’s on a really good way and everybody can see this, I’m pretty sure,” the German manager added.