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Jurgen Klopp defends Liverpool team selection after West Brom draw

West Brom 1 - Liverpool 1

ByNick Mashiter

Published 16/05/2016

Well played: Jonny Evans collects the West Brom Players’ Player of the Season
Well played: Jonny Evans collects the West Brom Players’ Player of the Season

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insisted he was left in a 'Catch-22' situation after making 11 changes to his team. Jordon Ibe bagged a point for the visitors in a 1-1 draw at West Brom ahead of Wednesday's Europa League final with Sevilla.

Cameron Brannagan made his full debut while Sergi Canos also came off the bench for his Liverpool bow in their season finale.

The rest of the squad, including Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, trained on Sunday morning as they prepare for the final in Basel.

Liverpool would qualify for the Champions League with victory in Switzerland and Klopp insisted he had no alternative but to field a shadow side.

"I decided what the strongest side was," he said, as Liverpool finished eighth in the Barclays Premier League.

"The problem would be if we came with other players and they were already with their mind on the next game.

"It would be absolutely normal, we cannot change this. If I come with the players everyone thinks I'm silly and if I don't come everyone thinks I didn't do the right job and I can't change it.

"I brought the best line-up today which I thought was the best for this game. The young boys did really well and we played football. We deserved this point and it was absolutely okay for us."

Danny Ings returned as a substitute after being out since October with a knee injury while Jordan Henderson was a second-half substitute after he also suffered a knee problem last month.

West Brom finish the season in 14th place on 43 points, one shy of last season's tally, after Salomon Rondon's opener but boss Tony Pulis was content - with the Baggies the West Midlands' only Premier League club next season after Aston Villa's relegation.

WEST BROM: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson (Chester, 46 mins), Evans, Leko (Roberts, 72 mins), Fletcher, Yacob, McClean, Gardner, Rondon.

Unused subs: Myhill, Lambert, Berahino, Sandro.

LIVERPOOL: Bogdan, Flanagan, Skrtel, Leiva, Smith, Ibe (Ings, 64 mins), Brannagan, Stewart, Allen (Henderson, 64 mins), Ojo (Canos, 80 mins), Benteke.

Unused subs: Mignolet, Ilori, Randall, Chirivella.

Man of the Match: Salomon Rondon

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Robert Madley

Belfast Telegraph

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