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'I don't like it to be honest': Jurgen Klopp comments on incident involving £120k-a-week Liverpool man

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Jurgen Klopp has responded when asked why he chose to take off Naby Keita and replace him with Thiago Alcantara during the first half of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid – as per BBC Sport’s Live coverage of the defeat.

Real Madrid were electric on Tuesday night. The young defensive partnership of Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak struggled to cope with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior – the latter proving to be the difference in Spain.



A brilliant ball from Toni Kroos was finished superbly by Vinicius for the first, before a horrendous header from Trent Alexander-Arnold allowed Marco Asensio to net a second on 36 minutes. Keita was taken off on 42 minutes.



Liverpool did get one back through Mo Salah but Vinicius scored a third – one that Alisson should really have saved. Klopp explained his decision to take off £120,000-a-week (Spotrac) man Keita before the half-time whistle.



 

“It’s not a big story. I don’t like it to be honest. He wasn’t the only one. It was tactical. I could have done a few more changes in that moment, thank God I didn’t” Klopp remarked, after what was a poor first-half display.

(Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

TBR’s view – Decision to start Keita was a strange one

Before the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid, Keita had started just once in 2021 for Liverpool – the 1-0 defeat to Fulham. So, to see him included in the side over Thiago was a big shock, and one that did not pay off for Klopp.

Had he started Thiago, Liverpool might have had a bit more control throughout the first half and nullified the likes of Kroos and Luka Modric – who proved to be the difference despite their combined age of 66.

Plenty to do in the second leg, for Liverpool.

(Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

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