Jurgen Klopp has explained that he substituted Dejan Lovren against Southampton because of the referee.
Klopp removed former Saints defender Lovren at half-time of the Premier League game at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday, at which point Liverpool were winning 2-0.
Martin Skrtel replaced Lovren, who was on a booking and nearly conceded a penalty early on, and the Reds subsequently lost 3-2 after a spirited Southampton fightback, with Skrtel playing a part in all three goals.
“I thought at the end of the first half it looked like the ref was not completely any more free of the emotion in the stadium. Maybe this situation was not okay,” Klopp explained.
“Okay, maybe it was a penalty – I don’t know.
“I thought we had to change this because it was clear that they will play a lot of long balls to Pelle and it’s not easy for a centre-half to challenge for these without a yellow card, especially when the ref changed a bit the mood.
“It was not too good for us today, obviously.”