Shaqiri’s sac­ri­fice re­quired – Klopp

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

PREMIER LEAGUE: Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp said it was not easy to take off Xher­dan Shaqiri at half-time after the Switzer­land in­ter­na­tional had played such a piv­otal role in the 3-0 win over Southamp­ton at An­field.

The 26-year-old, on his first start since a £12m sum­mer move from Stoke, had a hand in the Reds’ first and third goals, but was sac­ri­ficed at the break be­cause Klopp felt holes needed to be plugged.

“No it was not easy, to be hon­est. It’s my job to some­times de­liver news no­body wants to hear,” said the Ger­man.

“I said to Shaq at half-time that I’d never taken a player off at half-time after such an in­flu­en­tial half.

“He was not in­jured, but I wanted to con­trol the game, go back to our nor­mal for­ma­tion, and that helped us.”

He added: “I would have done the same if it had been 2-0. That was the plan. We saw that we had a few prob­lems.”

Klopp changed his for­ma­tion to 4-2-3-1 to ac­com­mo­date Shaqiri in a No 10 role and it paid off with his de­flected cross re­sult­ing in an own goal by Wes­ley Hoedt, and his free-kick can­noned down off the cross­bar for Mo­hamed Salah to score from close range to make it 3-0 after Joel Matip had dou­bled his side’s lead.

“It’s just good to have him. You saw the free-kick, it was out­stand­ing. What a ball,” added Klopp.

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