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taki time Jurgen Klopp picks out his star man as Liverpool move into FA Cup quarter-finals


Takumi Minamino scores the opening goal against Norwich. REUTERS/Craig Brough

Takumi Minamino scores the opening goal against Norwich. REUTERS/Craig Brough

Takumi Minamino scores the opening goal against Norwich. REUTERS/Craig Brough

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp does not believe Takumi Minamino’s match-winning performance in the 2-1 win over Norwich was driven by anger at being left out of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

Despite the Japan international playing a pivotal role in helping the side get to Wembley he did not even make it off the bench in the penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea.

However, he started against the Canaries and his two first-half goals helped secure Klopp’s first FA Cup quarter-final despite Lukas Rupp’s effort 14 minutes from time.

"Very disappointing I can imagine," said Klopp of Minamino missing out at Wembley.

"How Taki is, I don’t think that was the reason he played good tonight. He is not the person for this kind of anger but it is just the situation he is in.

"Taki was a massive part of the run to the Carabao Cup final and that he didn’t play in the final would have been hard on him in the moment but when he looks back he has just won the Carabao Cup and that’s a real good thing.

"His impression (against Norwich) was obvious with two goals and he had a lot of top, top football moments.

"I am not surprised Takumi is an incredible player. It was the best game he had for us.

"He played a super game and was a constant threat. It was windy out there again so with these high balls, how he took them down was really good. I am happy that he made an impression.

"Without him we wouldn't be in the quarter-finals, without him we wouldn't be in the final of the Carabao Cup. Super guy.

"He was mobile, quick, technically on an incredibly high level. It was all really good. I’m not surprised, I know how good he is and he showed it tonight.

"It was a complete performance, the two goals were great but all the rest he did was top class."

Klopp went on to salute his team's efforts, as his much-changed team kept Liverpool's momentum rolling after their Carabao Cup final win against Chelsea last Sunday.

"It was a tough game as we expected," he added. "It was 10 changes so you need a bit of time to adapt. Norwich kick start again, intensity wise, like in the Premier League game.

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"But after 15 minutes or so we calmed the game down, played really good football and scored really good goals. We controlled the game when we kept the ball, played easy passes and waited for the gaps.

"Second half, we could not score the third goal and they have their situation and that can change the game. It didn't but they had a few more moments and we had to fight to get it over the line."

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