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Liverpool youngsters took the next step in Dublin - Klopp

Ben Woodburn and Dominic Solanke earned the praise of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp following their 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Dominic Solanke celebrates scoring his side's third goal with Ben Woodburn.
Dominic Solanke celebrates scoring his side's third goal with Ben Woodburn.
Image: Inpho

JURGEN KLOPP SAID some of his young stars took the “next step” in Dublin after Ben Woodburn and Dominic Solanke fired the Reds to a 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao at the Aviva Stadium yesterday.

Woodburn and Solanke found the net after Inaki Williams had cancelled out Roberto Firmino’s first-half penalty, boosting their hopes of forming part of Klopp’s first-team plans this season.

The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and Ryan Kent also featured in a match that saw the German make 10 half-time changes.

Klopp insisted there was nothing to be read into how his side lined up in each half - despite the XI that took to the field for the opening 45 minutes appearing closer to his first team than the second-half line-up - and reserved special praise for matchwinners Woodburn and Solanke.

“In the first half, the first half-hour was good, then we lost organisation in the last 15,” he told LFC TV.

“In the second half, we changed. It was not an ‘A’ team or ‘B’ team but you could see a few young boys made the next step.

“You could see he [Woodburn] struggled when he first came in, then he scored a goal and boom, everything seems possible.

“Dom, that’s just good. He doesn’t look like a young boy but he is. It’s nice to have this option.”

Liverpool begin their Premier League campaign at Watford next Saturday and Klopp is satisfied his side will have enough to overcome Marco Silva’s men.

“We have to get fresh legs back,” he added. ”Tactical things, system wise, preparation. We will be prepared and it will be enough to win.

“I’m excited. I’m happy that we can start.”

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