Jurgen Klopp reserved praise for man of the match Roberto Firmino and three other Liverpool stars after he secured his first victory as manager by beating Bournemouth 1-0.
Defender Nathaniel Clyne scored the only goal in the 17th minute to beat Bournemouth 1-0 and set up a Capital One Cup quarter-final tie away at Southampton.
Anfield celebrated the win with gusto, even if Klopp said there was little difference from what he had seen before.
“I feel much better than after a draw – but I don’t think the other games were so much worse than today, the result is the biggest difference,” he said.
“We did well tonight as we did not have too much time for training between the games – we had only one hour training with this new team and system.
“Minute-by-minute we got better and for the whole 90 minutes we played football.
“I am satisfied, the boys did really well.”
Klopp made nine changes from the team that drew at home to Southampton on Sunday, retaining only Clyne and Divock Origi – the latter being out of necessity as he had to protect Christian Benteke’s troublesome hamstring.
Academy products Connor Randall, Joao Carlos Teixeira and Cameron Brannagan were all handed starts, and Klopp praised many of his younger players after they impressed at Anfield.
“First of all I’ve been here about two weeks and I saw these guys in training,” Klopp said. “Not only them but Pedro (Chirivella) and (Jerome) Sinclair.
“They were mostly with us in training so I saw them and for me it was clear that the first chance I could give them, I would do it and that was tonight.
“Some players needed a break and these players I was completely sure they had the quality to help us tonight and that’s what they did.
“It was really not easy. One week ago I said it’s not so easy to rotate if you bring in players who didn’t play together. That’s right.
“What we saw tonight was not ‘all of them’ but it was the best they could do and so I’m completely satisfied.
“For example Cameron Brannagan has a very difficult position in the system we played today, in the half space as an eight. It’s really not easy to defend this position.
“Connor Randall, all the long balls they played were in his space so if he was not a good header before this game, now he is much better because he had the chance to improve 20 or 30 times!
“So I’m really fine with these guys and the other players too. I saw it in the eyes of all the players that they wanted to win this game.”
Klopp also praised man of the match Firmino, goalkeeper Adam Bogdan and the general performance of his side.
“It is important for a new player when he comes to a club to show this but he does not have to show me because I know him very well,” added Klopp on Firmino.
“We know a little bit more about him, it was very intensive for him tonight.
“He is ready. He is prepared for this league, he is physically strong, a good technician and usually he is a good finisher. A good player.
“Adam (Bogdan) was brilliant but for this we have goalkeepers! But for the rest of the game we were the better team, with a completely new team. That’s really cool.
“We had our common movements, moving into the right space, attacking at the right moment, always attacking when they have to defend. They want to do what I say, that’s important.
“I’m nearly surprised it’s so good in this moment.
“These young players don’t think too much. That’s important. They think about football, not about pressure. I think they know why they won.”