Jurgen Klopp believes academy pair Rhys Williams and Curtis Jones experienced a night that was “even better than their dreams” as Liverpool saw off Atalanta on Tuesday.
The Reds were an their scintilating best as they stuck five past the Italian side, three of which came from Diogo Jota.
But Klopp’s resources are being stretched as he battles against a lengthy injury list.
It has though allowed young players opportunities to shine and meant William and Jones, who first played together at the age of eight, were both first team stars.
Williams played at the back while Jones took up a midfield role.
And Klopp joked that they could never play in tandem due to Jones’ inability to play at centre-half.
It has been a hectic season so far – so make sure you don’t miss a single thing by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!
All the latest transfer news and big stories will land straight into your inbox. You won’t miss out.
To sign up, put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
“I asked Curtis and Rhys before the game against Atalanta whether when they were younger and played together, if they’d ever dreamt of situations like that,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
“Rhys said, ‘I didn’t… because Curtis was always so much better, so I don’t think we had the same dreams.’
“Curtis said immediately, ‘But you are a centre-half and I couldn’t play centre-half.’ I said, ‘Yes, that’s true, you couldn’t play centre-half!’
“This night was even better than their dreams, so that was really nice. Now, let’s carry on with that.”
Williams is having to step in with injuries to the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho.
He has only played five first team games but Klopp revealed that elite development coach Vitor Matos has primed Williams for action at the top level.
“Vitor is incredibly important [because] Rhys is Vitor’s ‘baby’, if you like – a really big baby!” said the Reds boss.
“When we had the problem with the centre-halves coming up and all these kind of things, we had Billy the kid in, a sensational talent but then he got injured.
“Then there was a COVID situation, not with himself but he had to isolate so for two or three weeks he was out and then we were really short in the position.
“In that moment, Vitor came, ‘Yes, Rhys Williams. A big talent, he looks really promising and we should take him for training’ – and from the first moment he impressed.
“Before that, I hadn’t heard much about Rhys, to be honest, and so that’s what I call a big impact because it has helped us massively. He is a good kid on top of that, a proper Scouser.”
Will Liverpool win the Premier League? Have your say here.
* Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip