The Reds abandoned their usual 4-3-3 approach and started with a 4-2-3-1 tactic for the Premier League visit of the Blades on Saturday night.
Jurgen Klopp explained Liverpool’s formation change against Sheffield United – and revealed that it was Alisson Becker’s decision to make a surprise comeback.
Alisson Becker returned from injury and started for Liverpool against Sheffield United when the Reds won 2-1 in Anfield.
This move ultimately paid off: Firmino scored the equaliser just before half-time and Jota won in the second half when Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1.
Diogo Jota started in the Premier League for the first time since his arrival last month, when he played on the right wing and Mohamed Salah switched to center-forward while Roberto Firmino was behind him.
“Sheffield United had a big advantage because they obviously spent a whole week preparing for our game.
And when he was asked to assess the change of formation, Klopp said: “It was good in a few moments. It wasn’t so much about getting Diogo on the pitch, because he can play in many positions in our usual formation.
It was about: “How can we change, how can we start, how can we do all the things that are important in the game, how can we cause them problems?
“We thought that with a little change we could at least cause them some problems.
“They can do 12 different sets and train them through the week while we have recovery sessions.
“We put Mo in a different position and he played an incredible game. Mo and Sadio didn’t score, but they played superbly. Sadio in a one on one situation was almost undefendable. Mo was sensational between the lines and the other two boys scored.
Klopp added: “For us it was not about changing too much. Only in a few moments. In the offensive this gives us additional options.
Alisson returned to goal after missing the last three games with a shoulder problem.
“Adrian did really well, but getting Ali back is obviously a pretty big, big boost for all of us,” said the Reds’ boss.
Initially it was feared that the Brazilian would be out for up to six weeks, but he declared himself fit for the game after returning to training this week.
“I was really happy when he gave the green light and said ‘yes, I’m ready’ because it was his decision.
“I can’t decide for him if he feels pain when he hits the ground or whatever. It was his decision and he said ‘thumbs up’.
“It’s been almost three weeks that he’s been out and it feels like we had 15 games in between!