Jurgen Klopp says it was always his idea to replace Xherdan Shaqiri at half-time against Southampton but accepted it was difficult to tell the Switzerland international of his decision.
Shaqiri was handed his first Premier League start since joining from Stoke City and played a key role as a number 10 behind the front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
It was Shaqiri's shot that deflected in off Wesley Hoedt to open the scoring, with Salah tapping in the third from close range after a brilliant free-kick from the debutant struck the underside of the crossbar.
Klopp brought on James Milner at the break as Liverpool eased to victory to maintain their perfect Premier League record and he explained his choice in a post-match news conference.
"No it was not easy, to be honest. It's my job to sometimes deliver news nobody wants to hear," Klopp told reporters. "That's how it was at half-time, but he's a fantastic boy so there was no problem.
"I explained it to him, usually I don't explain substitutions but I thought today it made a bit of sense. It's just good to have him. You saw the free-kick, it was outstanding. What a ball!
"The whole team was not used to the system today and as a new player usually you struggle most, but he didn't. He tried everything, the only problem was defensive. Offensively, it was a good idea, but we have to work a bit more on that. He was good, I liked it.
"I would have done the same if it had been 2-0. That was the plan. We saw that we had a few problems. In the week you saw with Gini Wijnaldum, good game but really hard, Hendo [Jordan Henderson] second game in a row, Milly [James Milner] came on and it was hard work for him too."
Jürgen Klopp's 600th game as a manager marked with points.— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 22, 2018
Up the Reds. pic.twitter.com/fCrCWOfoDK
A run of seven straight victories in all competitions brought up Klopp's 600th league game as a manager but the German is already looking ahead.
"I lost seven games in a row once, that felt different! But then we won the eighth game 5-0, very cool!" Klopp said.
"It's a surprise, but all the performances we showed so far were good enough to win the games. Different challenges, different styles of opponent, the boys were there, really in the situation and in the game.
"That's good, but the next one is coming! Coming on Wednesday, then Saturday, then Wednesday again, and then the period ends with a nice game against Man City. It will be tough, but for all of us. I am really sure we are mature enough to understand it."
Southampton manager Mark Hughes accepted the gulf between the sides shown in the opening 45 minutes but felt there were positives to take after the break.
"We were 3-0 down at half time and there is a danger you go completely under and that would have damaged us even more than the 3-0 performance in the first half," Hughes said.
"We avoided that because we stuck at it, stuck in the game and tried to do the right things and saw the game out in the second half.
"You can argue that maybe Liverpool took their foot off the gas, which I acknowledge, but we still had to remain in the game, keep vigilant and make sure we got blocks in when they created moments.
"In the end we take a little bit of comfort from the second half performance in terms of not going under but clearly the damage was done in the first half."
|Nani joins MLS side Orlando|
|´He´s unreal´ – Warriors´ Curry praises Duke star Zion|
|Iguodala replaces LeBron as VP of NBPA|
|Lakers coach Walton: LeBron and I get along just fine|
|Pogba´s one of the best midfielders in the world – Solskjaer|
|Liverpool wanted Sancho but Man City wouldn´t sell to us, claims Klopp|
|Solskjaer hails ´massive´ result against Chelsea after PSG loss|
|Two-time Open 13 champion Simon avoids upset against Hoang|
|Sarri worried by results, not fans´ jeers|
|Mickelson, Tiger learn WGC-Mexico Championship groupings|
|Serena aiming to surpass Court´s major record this year - Mouratoglou|
|Solskjaer trusts us, we trust him – Pogba|
|Vettel revels in ´unbelievable´ start to F1 testing, Williams woe continues|
|Man United visit Wolves in FA Cup last eight, Swansea to host Man City|
|Giants manager Bruce Bochy to retire after 2019 season|
|Nurnberg 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Stalemate leaves Bayern within striking distance|
|Chelsea 0 Manchester United 2: Solskjaer´s men bounce back to reach FA Cup quarter-finals|
|Wozniacki explains ongoing struggle with viral illness after Dubai withdrawal|
|Petkovic drops just one game against Bogdan in Budapest|
|Barcelona have learned from Roma humiliation - Valverde|
|Djokovic and Biles take top Laureus honours|
|Leeds United fined £200,000 by EFL following spying controversy|
|Tiger Woods wins Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award|
|Gundogan marvels at Man City team-mate David Silva|
|Djokovic can match Nadal and Federer in major honours - Becker|
|Ribery doubtful for Liverpool trip after daughter´s birth|
|Webb outlines commitment to Toulon after president´s outburst|
|Griezmann: Champions League home final gives us extra motivation|
|Salihamidzic and Bayern not daunted by ´special´ Anfield atmosphere|
|Serena returns to WTA top 10 for first time as a mother|
|Saunders to fight Isufi for vacant WBO super-middleweight belt|
|West Ham reveal plans to improve London Stadium atmosphere|
|Wasps sign Minozzi and announce it with ´Super Mario´ mash-up|
|Unwell Wozniacki pulls out of Dubai Tennis Championship|
|Dananjaya returns to Sri Lanka squad for South Africa ODIs|
|Henderson targets Premier League and Champions League double|
|Hogg ruled out as Townsend adds six to Scotland squad|
|Cancellara backs Cavendish to claim more stage wins|
|Tyson Fury agrees lucrative deal to be co-promoted by Top Rank|
|Leeds United suffer blow with Roofe injury|
|Klopp fears Bayern Munich are ´more dangerous than before´|
|Rosberg: Hamilton favourite again and pressure on Vettel|
|Klopp assessing Lovren ´minute by minute´ ahead of Bayern|
|Paratici confirms Juventus enquiry over Icardi|
|I am still contracted to my team - Savea responds to Toulon owner´s bizarre outburst|
|Carter sad for retiring Lambie but excited to make Racing return|
|Harvey to step down as EFL CEO|
|IAAF calls on five experts as Semenya challenges hyperandrogenism rule via CAS|
|Shaqiri has silenced doubters at Liverpool, says Barnetta|
|I´ll try to keep racking them up - Durant wants more after All-Star MVP|
|Coman back but no Boateng for Bayern Munich´s trip to Liverpool|
|Kaepernick may not want to return to the NFL - Allen|
|Foden dwelling on one mistake over decisive Newport double|
|LeBron focusing on Lakers´ playoff push after All-Star Game|
|Liverpool are favourites against Bayern Munich - Kimmich|
|Squire leaving New Zealand to join Red Hurricanes|
|Liverpool v Bayern Munich: James desperately needs a career boost at Anfield|
|Clash with ultras, stripped of captaincy - a timeline of Icardi´s fractured Inter relationship|
|Ospina will remain at Napoli next season, says Ancelotti|
|Antetokounmpo shines, Nowitzki and Wade can still play – takeaways from NBA All-Star Game|
|Top highlights from Team LeBron´s victory over Team Giannis in NBA All-Star Game|
|Durant earns All-Star Game MVP honours|
|Team LeBron rally past Team Giannis|
|PSG can reach Champions League final without Neymar – Cafu|
|Holmes edges out Thomas to win fifth PGA Tour event|
|Hamlin wins crash-filled Daytona 500|
|Marotta: Inter have never doubted Icardi|
|Guardiola was questioned too – Zola says Sarri needs time|
|Icardi has no intention to leave Inter - Nara|
|Tuchel hails ´exceptional´ PSG mentality|