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‘I was right to take off Salah,’ says Klopp

Juergen Klopp
LONDON: Jurgen Klopp defended his decision to substitute Egypt star Mohamed Salah after Liverpool let slip a winning position at home to Everton yesterday.
The Reds were in complete control and ahead thanks to Salah’s 13th league goal of the season and his 20th in all competitions. But the momentum swung after Salah was strangely replaced on 67 minutes, allowing Everton to mount a comeback and level the match with a 77th-minute penalty from Wayne Rooney.
“That is my job,” said Klopp when asked about taking off Salah. “I make decisions that I think are right. It is your job to say afterwards if it is right. We lived more or less in their box. We could have scored earlier. I have to live with that.”
Klopp could not believe his side did not win the game and felt Everton should have been reduced to ten and that Rooney shouldn’t have been given the chance to level the match from the penalty spot.
“Our performance was good,” Klopp said. “We didn’t score often enough. I saw only one team playing. I can’t believe the situation with all the challenges. We were clean and didn’t make any fouls. There is always one nasty one — Sigurdsson made that. A clear red card. You see the picture of the penalty. Calvert-Lewin is smart but it is nothing. But it is a penalty and one team can celebrate and we can’t. I don’t understand why the ref is doing that (giving the penalty). I didn’t use one swear word. Only one team is trying over 95 minutes to win it. The other team are not in our box and didn’t have a shot on target bar the penalty.”
Everton had just 21 percent of possession and only three attempts on goal to Liverpool’s 23, so it was no wonder Rooney was delighted with a draw.
“It is a fantastic point for us,” said England’s record goalscorer.” Liverpool are a fantastic team with good individual players. We knew it would be difficult and we would need to be patient. We defended brilliantly. We had two or three moments on the break that we had to take and we did that. It is great to play the derby. It is great for the city and there are bragging rights. The Evertonians will be more pleased. It is always nice to score against Liverpool, no matter who you play for.”
Rooney has missed ten penalties in his career, so he was delighted to convert this one under the most intense pressure.
“I had to keep myself composed,” he said. “Lovren kicked the ball away and that gave me time. I knew where I was going. I practised yesterday and thankfully I caught it right. It looked a clear penalty. He pushed him over and the ref has made the right decision.”