Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has explained his decision to substitute Naby Keita before halftime during a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.
Keita was subbed in the 42nd minute with Thiago Alcantara coming in for his place, with Liverpool trailing Madrid by two goals. Klopp has revealed he opted to make the substitution early rather than wait until halftime as he wanted instant change.
"It was tactical," the German explained.
"This is one of the things you don't like to do in the job. It's like the one player is responsible for the performance of the first half. Naby was not responsible for that."
"He didn't play for a while, especially not from the start," he continued.
The Liverpool boss stressed that Keita wasn’t the only Liverpool player underperforming and that others could have been changed or replaced as well.
"We were not good in the game, Naby was not good in the game, but if we all saw the game and I am honest, I could have made a few more changes, to be honest," Klopp said.
"So it was not about Naby, but I did it and I am now not happy about it because we talk about it like it is all Naby's responsibility, it is not. But it was tactical, that is it."
The Reds will turn their attention to the Premier League as they face Aston Villa over the weekend.
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