Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp praised Luis Diaz and Harvey Elliott after the second half substitutes helped the Premier League side beat Cardiff City 3-1 in the FA Cup on Sunday.
After a goalless first half, Diogo Jota opened the scoring with a header before new 45 million-euro ($51.5-million) signing Diaz assisted the second and Elliott provided the icing on the cake with the third on his return from injury.
Diaz had his knee scraped by Cardiff defender Aden Flint’s boot when they went up for a header but as concern grew on the bench over a potential injury on his debut, the Colombian gave a thumbs-up and continued playing.
“It was a really tough game… Luis came on, there is a little bruise and a cut there,” Klopp said.
“Everybody says ‘welcome to England’. There will be a scar so he knows what he did in the first game.”
Elliott was making his first appearance since going under the knife for an ankle injury in September and the 18-year-old scored his first goal for the club in front of an equally delighted Kop.
“Harvey was unlucky with the injury but lucky with the whole process afterwards, everything went really well. He did an incredible job, the medical department did an incredible job. He is a fearless boy and a great footballer,” Klopp added.
“There are not all good things when you get an injury like that, but when you are young you deal with it and he did. Now he’s back and it’s really nice.
“Scoring a goal in front of the Kop makes it a fairytale. The 12 o’clock kick-off is maybe not the most emotional but when he came on it felt like 8 o’clock on a European night with floodlights. The crowd were there and celebrated it, it was nice.”