Klopp explains hauling off Keita at half-time v Palace and confirms Nunez injury

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has explained his decision to haul off Naby Keita at half-time in the 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Keita was booked after 23 minutes with Klopp deciding to replace the 28-year-old midfielder at the interval as Harvey Elliott took his place.

Klopp was quizzed about the decision at full-time as well as his call to take off Trent Alexander-Arnold in the second half.

‘Naby had an early yellow card and then it’s difficult,’ Klopp told Sky Sports. ‘Trent plays all the games, so that makes it really tricky.

‘I didn’t take him off because he was bad, but he plays all the games so I had to change.’

Liverpool were without Darwin Nunez for the clash at Selhurst Park with Klopp admitting in his pre-match interview that the striker missed out with injury.

‘They are both injured,’ Klopp said about Nunez and defender Joe Gomez. ‘So, Darwin had the shoulder problem from the Newcastle game.

🗣️ “In the end it’s an away point and it’s okay but it’s not brilliant.”

Jürgen Klopp on Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace. pic.twitter.com/TZwjXvW0D8

‘[It] worked out for the Real Madrid game but then [he] got another knock there, felt it again and more so there was no chance for today.

‘Hopefully he can be [back] in midweek again.’

After the game, Klopp added: ‘In moments like this [we miss Darwin Nunez], but we can play without him.

🗣️ “We didn’t switch the sides anymore and we didn’t play the ball in behind anymore. It makes no sense.”

Jürgen Klopp says he can’t understand why Liverpool stopped stretching the Crystal Palace defence. pic.twitter.com/JR2kPLWCCS

‘We have Diogo [Jota] on the pitch who can be the threat in behind as well. When Mo [Salah] and Cody [Gakpo] are dropping, Diogo has to be there.’

Speaking more generally after the draw against Patrick Vieira’s side, Klopp said: ‘I think we killed the atmosphere with the way we played.

‘When football is predictable, it means it’s easier to defend.

‘To be unpredictable you need different movements, that’s what we have to offer in behind the lines as well.

‘It was always in the midfield area. We gave balls away, but they were really aggressive as well.

‘You feel something’s not right, but it’s an away point and it’s OK. It’s not brilliant, but it’s OK.’

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