Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp explained his decision to replace Takumi Minamino in the Goodison derby at half-time-as he praised Naby Keita ‘s performance.
Minamino was given a first Premier League start in Sunday night’s goalless draw at Everton.
Despite an encouraging first-half display, the Japanese international was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during the interval.
And Klopp referred to the temporary rule change of allowing five substitutions as the reason behind the switch.
“I had the idea before the game that I wanted to change early and exploit the opportunities that five changes could give us. We’ve been thinking about why waiting for tired legs when you can put on five players. That wasn’t 100 percent working. Taki has been at the game. It was a bit hard at the beginning, but then he was in the game. The move was a mere idea from me at half-time. It had nothing to do with Taki’s first-half success,” he said.
Keita was Liverpool’s most positive midfielder in an otherwise poor attacking display from the Reds-just the second time they have struggled to score in the Premier League this season. Klopp noticed his performance before being replaced by Gini Wijnaldum midway through the second half.
The Reds manager said: “Naby looked perfect. He looked good in training for sure and that’s the reason he played today. We might also put on Gini Wijnaldum. We had to try it because we wondered how to handle the intensity. We play again against Crystal Palace in three days. If today we played 11 players for 90 minutes, and then asked them to go on Wednesday again, then I’d have a real problem.”
“You can’t underestimate that we’re playing two games in three days, after four weeks of pre-season and nine weeks of break before. That’s why we need to think a little before we get into a problem. We tried that, but in the end, you never will be fine. Yet Naby ‘s performance was genuinely perfect.”