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Klopp explains controversial Salah substitution in Chelsea defeat

Jurgen Klopp, Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
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The Premier League’s top goalscorer and his agent weren’t impressed by Klopp’s decision to substitute him against Chelsea.

Jurgen Klopp substituted Mohamed Salah during Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Thursday to avoid any potential risk of injury.

The Reds boss replaced a visibly unhappy Salah in the 62nd-minute with Diogo Jota during the home loss.

Salah even shook his head as he walked off the pitch and his agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, tweeted a single punctuation mark on the exact moment of the substitution. That sole remark created a huge buzz on social media.

“When the boy looks disappointed [to be subbed] that is not a problem,” said Klopp as quoted by Liverpool Echo.

“The reason for the sub was – and I could have changed others as well, that is true – but he looked in that moment like he was feeling the intensity really. I didn’t want to risk him. That is all. That is the situation.

“It is really rare, I have known Mo long enough now and he usually looks surprisingly fresh until the end and I thought that was a sign [to bring him off].

“In our situation I didn’t want to risk it and that is it.”

Mason Mount’s first-half goal was enough to condemn Liverpool to a record five consecutive defeats at Anfield. The Reds, who have scored only once in those games, have slipped to seventh-place in the Premier League table.

Klopp will need Salah and co to firing on all cylinders on Sunday for the club’s next league match against Fulham at home.