Jurgen Klopp praises three Liverpool players who were ‘monsters’ and ‘very good’ at Norwich – Liverpool Echo

Jurgen Klopp hailed the return of his defensive “monsters” after Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip made their long-awaited comebacks.

The duo were partnered at centre-back as the Reds opened their Premier League campaign with a 3-0 win at promoted Norwich City on Saturday evening.

Van Dijk was making his first competitive outing since suffering a serious knee injury last October, while Matip had been sidelined after sustaining an ankle problem in late January.

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And of Van Dijk, Klopp said: “Nobody knows, not even himself, if he is at 90% or 95 fitness-wise for where you can be, but from a form point of view, it is different.

“Each game helps obviously and it really helps him. It was really good to see him on the pitch, especially when defending set-pieces, he looked really good.

“Offensive set-pieces, we have two monsters with Joel and Virgil, they are really good in the air.

“We scored from a second ball, I think Mo’s goal (Liverpool’s third) was a brilliant routine, really.

“We got the opponents in that area and finished it off, so yes, it was nice to have him back.”

Andy Robertson’s absence with ankle ligament damage meant a first Premier League start for Kostas Tsimikas more than 12 months after arriving at Anfield.

And Klopp was enthused by the Greece international continuing the impressive form he had shown during pre-season.

“Very, very good,” said the Reds boss regarding the performance of Tsimikas.

“I would say so for about 80 minutes, he did some (attacking) stuff, defended well and then it was like someone pulled the plug.

“But that is normal after that long period, so yes, it was really good. To have him starting in an away game like that was really good.”

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