Jurgen Klopp claims he did not notice Mohamed Salah’s reaction to being taken off against Chelsea.
Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer this season, was withdrawn on the hour-mark with the Reds chasing an equaliser after Mason Mount’s goal for the Blues.
And Salah cut a frustrated figure when he saw his number held up by the fourth official confirming Liverpool’s first substitution of the night, which ended in a 1-0 win for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
62' – A double change, as Jota and Oxlade-Chamberlain are on to replace Salah and Jones.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 4, 2021
Salah could be seen shaking his head as he took his seat behind the Anfield dugout but Klopp insisted he didn’t notice any negative reaction from the Egyptian forward.
“When the boys look disappointed it is not a problem. I didn’t see what Mo did,” Klopp said.
“The reason for the sub was that, and I could have changed other players as well that’s true, but he looked in that moment that he really felt the intensity and I didn’t want to risk him.
“That’s all. I’ve known him a long time and it’s really rare as he usually looks fresh.”
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher expressed surprise about Salah being taken off so early but he acknowledged that the 28-year-old wasn’t having his best game.
Carragher identified the type of player that the Reds need in order to create chances next season as the Sky Sports pundit again voiced his concerns about Liverpool’s attacking threat.
“Klopp’s never been shy in taking Salah off the pitch,” Carragher told Sky Sports. “It’s not a case where he’s worried of taking his main player off. He’s taken him off in certain games where Salah has been poor. He’s a big goal threat, but a lot of the time where he’s been taken off in the past, Liverpool’s attacking play has been breaking down. You could understand it.
“He wasn’t at his best tonight, but it wasn’t one of those games where he was losing possession. He just didn’t have much of the ball. You’ve got to remember that Salah is not a great player with the ball. He’s better off the ball, making runs and scoring goals.
“Salah is a great goalscorer and what Liverpool have lacked is a goal, and it’s what they needed in that second half. I was thinking whether there was something in the number of games he’s played, but I don’t know. It’s hard to question Klopp, but I did think it was a strange one.”