Jurgen Klopp hailed Dominik Szoboszlai’s impact at Anfield after the summer signing came off the bench to fire Liverpool into the last 16 of the Carabao Cup.
Liverpool had to come from behind to beat leaders Leicester 3-1 after Kasey McAteer silenced Anfield after just three minutes.
But after Cody Gakpo equalized early in the second half, Szoboszlai hit an unstoppable shot moments after coming on in the 70th minute that Diogo Jota finished off with his late goal.
Szoboszlai’s rocket from the edge of the D was his second goal since his £60million summer switch from RB Leipzig and another sign of the impressive start the Hungarian has made on Merseyside.
“I don’t have to tell him to shoot, he knows better than me,” Klopp said.
“He has a pretty good skill. The next (shot) he had was also another grenade. It was a great goal.”
The ease with which Szoboszlai has settled in at Anfield has been key to Liverpool’s strong start, second in the Premier League in all competitions, as he appears to have solved many of the midfield problems that plagued them last season.
Asked if Szoboszlai had settled in quicker than expected, Klopp said: “It’s been so long since he’s been here that I forget what I thought, but from the first minute of training it was pretty impressive.
“That’s the way it is. He’s a top guy, a top guy and he’s easy to get into the team and the dressing room and stuff.
“He’s a very naturally confident boy and that helps, but he’s also super hard working and that’s what you see today.
The night started badly for Liverpool when Konstantinos Tsimikas’ early free-kick was blocked and the Greece defender was then left on the board by Marc Albrighton as Leicester raced to score.
But Klopp said what impressed him was the way his players responded.
“The headline is we’re 1-0 down but it was a completely different goal – I’m not sure if it was a foul or not but we could have defended a bit better in the first minute and then it’s a good pass. and a good ending.
“Then it’s all about reaction. Our players responded well. We created huge chances that were hard to miss, but we did, the keeper saved some and we hit the crossbar.
“How (we didn’t score) I have no idea, but at half-time it was clear we were going to make sure we weren’t frustrated. We weren’t really chasing the game, we were playing the game and that’s what the boys did. It was a top performance.”
It was only Leicester’s second defeat of the season as they bid for an immediate return to the top flight and Enzo Maresca said the performance was more important than the result.
“I’m very, very proud of the players because to come into this stadium against this opponent and continue to play the way we want to play, I think they showed they were very brave,” he said.
“Even after 45 minutes when we were 1-0 up, I wasn’t focused on the result, of course it’s always important, but I told them before the game that we’re focused on going out there and continuing to play the way we want to . .”