Peter Schmeichel was full of praise for Jurgen Klopp over the substitutions he made during Liverpool’s 3-1 win against Wolves on Saturday, even though one of them appeared to leave the player being withdrawn ‘unhappy’.
The Reds were losing at half-time following a dreadful first 45 minutes but the manager acted decisively at the interval, withdrawing Alexis Mac Allister for Luis Diaz, a move which immediately gave the team a far greater impetus.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper was speaking on Premier League Productions later that night (16 September, 8:40pm) when he commended the German for making the changes that he did.
Schmeichel said: “You also saw from that clip, how direct and how much more energy that Liverpool came out with in the second half. He (Klopp) must have had a big, big half-time talk. He was so unhappy in the first half. But they came out in the second and delivered.
“I don’t know what he told Mac Allister. ‘Go and sit on the naughty step?’ He was the first one out, so when Diaz was actually being prepared to come on, he was behind. You could see how unhappy he was. But it’s great managerial work. Every substitution he made worked.”
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While Mac Allister has largely been impressive for Liverpool up to this point since his summer arrival, Saturday was one of his quietest games, being dribbled past twice and losing almost half of his duels at Molineux (Sofascore).
The Argentine could be excused a relatively tepid display given his travel exploits on international duty, although the Reds undoubtedly looked much more threatening when Diaz came on, with the Colombian taking three shots and unleashing two key passes (Sofascore).
The subsequent introductions of Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott also worked a treat, with the latter’s shot deflecting off Hugo Bueno for the clinching goal in the 90th minute.
Klopp was ruthless in making so many changes before the hour mark but the end result justified the decisions, with even Cody Gakpo being withdrawn immediately after netting the equaliser early in the second half.
The substitutions also illustrated the strength in depth that Liverpool now have, with the manager able to unleash multiple players who are capable of changing a game in the Reds’ favour. It’s a wealth of riches which’d be the envy of almost every club in Europe, never mind England.