Jurgen Klopp admits that a star forward was not happy being benched against Benfica
The Egyptian superstar was benched in the Reds’ UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash against the Portuguese giants.
Klopp’s side won the first leg away at the Estadio da Luz 3-1. The German rested several of his star players, including Salah, in the second leg.
Liverpool could only manage a 3-3 stalemate at Anfield against Nelson Verissimo’s side but have booked their place in the semi-finals, having won 6-4 on aggregate.
During a press conference ahead of the Reds’ FA Cup clash against Manchester City, Klopp was asked why he benched Salah in the Benfica game.
The manager revealed that the 29-year-old desperately needed a breather, having played extensively over the past few months. He added that he wouldn’t have started the forward even if he had “scored four goals in the last game.”
Klopp said (via Liverpool FC on YouTube):
“The reason for Mo not starting is easy. It was about, yes, he played (against) City, but we have after that hopefully 12 games. Even if Mo would’ve scored four goals in the last game he wouldn’t have started yesterday.””Mo played in January and February six times 120 minutes, now we can just close our eyes and say who cares?”
“Even he is just a human being. That’s why it was clear there’ll be games he can’t start, games where we have to take him off.””He hates that, that’s clear. But we have to think about these kind of things when they are really necessary to do.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is using the full strength of his squad
Jurgen Klopp has a gifted squad at his disposal. As the Reds approach the business end of the season, he has done well to make the most of it.
Liverpool are still in the running for an unprecedented quadruple, and Klopp knows that he has to rotate his squad as much as possible.
The likes of Salah and Mane have played extensively this season for both club and country, and resting them whenever possible is absolutely necessary.