Jurgen Klopp has shed some light on his reason for replacing Sadio Mane during Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Fernando put the Russian side ahead early on with a free-kick before Philippe Coutinho equalised before the interval.
Despite dominating proceedings for most of the match, the Reds failed to find a breakthrough in the second half with numerous chances going begging.
Klopp substituted Mane off on 70 minutes for Daniel Sturridge, but he couldn’t make the difference as Liverpool drew in the Champions League group stage for a second successive week.
And Klopp explained after the match why he thought it was best to take Mane off with his side chasing a goal.
“Sadio Mané has spent too long without a game so he needs to adapt to such intensity,” Klopp said.
“That’s why we had to replace him.”
On the result itself, Klopp was gracious in drawing and praised Spartak for their “big hearts”.
“Spartak defended with big passion, big hearts. They deserved the draw,” Klopp said.
“Also, Spartak had some important players missing so they can be even better when they’re back. But we also can play better.”