Jurgen Klopp says the decision to withdraw Coutinho from the game at half-time last night was a predetermined one, reports the Daily Mail.
The Brazilian was easily our best player in the first-half, completely controlling proceedings in the final third – dominating with his insane close-control and willingness to get on the ball.
But his replacement Ben Woodburn was mainly sanctioned on the left and we lost our ability to dominate possession – eventually losing 2-0 after some standardly shoddy defending.
The decision to take off Coutinho, which affected us negatively, was heavily criticised, but Klopp says he had no choice due to the 25-year-old’s current fitness and our need to field him at the weekend.
“That was the plan before the game. He needs match time but it was not the plan to let him play again 60 or 70 or 80 minutes,” said the boss.
“Forty five is the limit. We need to get him fit but we cannot push him through.”
You can be sure Coutinho will start on Saturday against the Foxes, in the more important Premier League tie.
The likes of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah, Emre Can, Joel Matip, Alberto Moreno, Dejan Lovren and Daniel Sturridge are likely to return to the starting lineup.