Xherdan Shaqiri believes starting place in the derby win was just reward

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Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri says his first Premier League start for The Reds since January was a reward for the hard work he’s putting in behind the scenes at Melwood.

The Swiss attacking midfielder put in an impressive display as Liverpool beat their Merseyside rivals 5-2 at Anfield on Wednesday night.

The Reds’ number 23 popped up with a well-taken finish to make it 2-0 early-on after some great work from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mané combined.

Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com after the game, Shaqiri couldn’t hide his delight at once again gracing the Anfield turf.

“I think you saw [how much I enjoyed it] on the pitch.

“It was unbelievable to be back on the pitch, I was very happy when I knew I’d play. I wanted to have a good performance.

“I’ve worked hard for the last few months – I’ve been injured and worked very hard. So I’m very happy to be back. I’m in good shape and very happy to be back.

“Obviously I was injured and I worked hard to come back. I was very happy when I knew I’d play.

“It was not simple to come straight back in the derby but I’m always confident and try to make a good performance and help my team. It was a really good day for us.”

Shaqiri went on to comment on the explosive first-half of football at Anfield, the team’s changing shape throughout, and the hectic December schedule ahead of them.

“[The first half] was unbelievable. We obviously changed formation a little bit and some players played who didn’t play a lot for a few weeks.

“We did very well. It’s big credit for the team; you can see how good we are. We started very well, of course, it was a little bit dramatic and we have to learn from our little mistakes, but that’s football.

“It’s a busy period now and we have to go on and win games, that’s the most important thing in football. It was a good night for us Reds.”

Liverpool take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium this Saturday afternoon before then heading to Austria to face Red Bull Salzburg in their final Champions League group game.

Players like Shaqiri, Divock Origi, James Milner and Adam Lallana will have a huge part to play over the coming weeks, in particular.

For the most in-depth tactical and statistical analysis regarding Liverpool FC, sign up now! The original home of Pressing Stats, Anfield Index also brings you the latest views from club legends such as Jan Molby.

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