Klopp aiming to 'push' and 'protect' Karius with Boro benching

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he dropped Loris Karius in order to "push" and "protect" his out-of-form goalkeeper.

Karius had turned in a pair of error-strewn performances in the defeat to Bournemouth and Saturday's draw at home to West Ham, and was replaced by Simon Mignolet for Wednesday's 3-0 win at Middlesbrough.

The Belgian was an assured presence in the Reds' goal, first keeping them level and then ahead in an even opening half.

He told the BBC: "Life is not always the nicest but these are my boys and for me it is important to push them and protect them and sometimes I have to make decisions I don't like. 

"I know how strong Loris is, but he couldn't show it in the last few games.

"Judging him in this moment makes no sense. Simon Mignolet is on the bench and we have to have competition. It's all about Liverpool. The boys have good character. Karius is still a great keeper."

Adam Lallana scored twice, either side of setting up a Divock Origi goal as Liverpool's scintillating attacking play stole headlines away from Klopp's selection.

Victory sent Liverpool back to second in the Premier League, above Arsenal on goals scored, and Klopp was delighted with his side's vivacious play.

He added: "Not bad, eh? In the first half we were good, the second we were much better.

"We had moments in the first half where we were static and even I was confused. We did much better second half, we could have finished more often.

"Adam Lallana is improving even when he doesn't score, but it's nice he's in that situation. About a year ago I had sat him in the office and I was happy with him but he was like 'I'm not scoring'. And I said he wasn't in the right positions. Tonight he was twice in the right position and it was wonderful."