Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has explained his decision to substitute Mo Salah an hour into Thursday’s defeat against Chelsea, and insists his side’s top four hopes are not over despite suffering a “massive blow”.
Mason Mount’s strike gave Chelsea all three points and condemned Klopp’s side to a fifth straight home league defeat for the first time in their history.
The visitors were much the better side in the first half and though Liverpool enjoyed more possession after the break they struggled to create chances.
Their bluntness was summed up by Klopp’s decision to withdraw top scorer Salah with almost half-an-hour to play and afterwards the German explained his decision.
“I just brought on fresh legs,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “Mo [Salah] looked like today he suffered a bit, he played a lot of games.
“I could have taken off Sadio [Mane] or Bobby [Firmino], that is all clear but at that moment it looked like Mo.
“[James] Milner we bought on to wake them up a bit and keep them in the game because we needed one situation.”
The result saw Chelsea climb back into fourth as they continue their unbeaten start to life under Thomas Tuchel.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are still only four points adrift but on a contrasting run of form and are down in seventh having played a game more than both Everton and West Ham, who are fifth and sixth respectively .
“It is a massive blow,” Klopp added. “[But] it is not done yet. We have to win football games.”