Klopp: Why I substituted Oxlade-Chamberlain in Liverpool FC’s Super Cup win
Liverpool FC boss Jurgen Klopp explains his decision to substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at half-time of Wednesday night's Uefa Super Cup triumph
Jurgen Klopp has shed light on his decision to substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at half-time of Liverpool FC’s victory over Chelsea FC in the Uefa Super Cup on Wednesday night.
The Reds midfielder was handed his first start of the season for the clash against their Premier League rivals in Istanbul.
Oxlade-Chamberlain had a relatively quiet first half as Chelsea FC broke the deadlock courtesy of a goal from his former Arsenal team-mate Olivier Giroud after Christian Pulisic’s superb assist.
The England international is continuing his comeback from a serious knee injury that kept Oxlade-Chamberlain sidelined for 12 months.
Klopp opted to bring on Roberto Firmino for Oxlade-Chamberlain at half-time and the decision paid dividends as the Brazilian forward created two assists for Sadio Mane in Turkey.
Liverpool FC beat Chelsea FC 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw following 120 minutes following Tammy Abraham’s penalty miss.
Speaking to his post-match media conference after their Super Cup success, Klopp explained his decision to replace Oxlade-Chamberlain at half-time.
“I didn’t say a lot to Ox [at half-time], I don’t think it was necessary.
“For Ox it was very important to have these minutes, it’s a position he can play. He can play much better than he did tonight but that’s how it is and after a long injury you have to find back the rhythm.
“In training it’s already there and now in the game he had good moments but of course not enough for his quality.
“It was not about that, I knew it was a very, very intense game so it was clear that we have to make that decision because we didn’t want to push him through, we want to give him the opportunity to perform, to shine if you want.
“In that position and the circumstances it was obviously not as possible as we would have wished, but that’s then my mistake and not his mistake because I made the decision.”
Liverpool FC were 4-1 winners against Norwich City in their Premier League opener at Anfield last Friday night.
The Reds will make the trip to Southampton in their next Premier League fixture at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool FC are in third spot in the Premier League table.