Jurgen Klopp faced a lot of criticism from fans after making the risky sub at the break and it was one that didn't pay off as Liverpool let a 2 goal lead slip and going down 3-2 to Southampton at St Mary's. The blame was put on Martin Skrtel who it was felt didnt bring the same stability to the defence as Dejan Lovren and a collapse in structure combined with the arrival of sub Mané gave Southampton the spoils.
Klopp responds to questions on the substitution:
When asked about the decision Klopp responded sharply that the reason he took Lovren off was "his yellow card" continuing on to say that he "thought at the end of the first half it looked like the ref was not completely any more free of the emotion in the stadium."
He conceded that Lovren's foul in the first half " maybe was a penalty" but felt "it was clear that they will play a lot of long balls to Pelle", rightly pointing out that "It's not easy for a centre half to challenege for these without a yellow card." He admitted however, that although there was a lot of controversial decisions, his sides performance was "not too good."
Klopp questions disallowed goal;
Joe Allen's disallowed goal was another event in the match that really puzzled the German. He wondered that "if Sakho wasn't there would he have saved the ball?" and was obviously annoyed stating that his team "would have been 3-0 ahead" and in "a different situation." He was also confused as to why the linesman didn't put up his flag quicker as it gave Liverpool a false sense of security to "let us celebrate" and "then took it back."
This is no doubt a setback as regards Liverpool's top 4 hopes with many fans feeling that this was a game we had to get 3 points from for a realistic push at European football next season. We may still earn a Europa League spot but there is no doubt Klopp would have been quietly eyeing that pivotal 4th place finish with Manchester City out of form in recent weeks.
It may now well be a 3 way battle between West Ham United, Manchester United and Manchester City and all Liverpool can do is try and win every game in the run in and hope for the best. If they can get over a very challenging Dortmund hurdle in the Europa League, they could go on and earn a Champions League place by winning the Europa League but based on Sunday's performance a lot of improvements are needed for this to happen.