Sadio Mane was taken off at half-time as Atletico Madrid played host to Liverpool in the round of 16 in the Champions League, and Jurgen Klopp has said the forward was confused by his decision.
The boss claims that he felt the Senegal superstar had “no chance” of not being sent off in Madrid, and previously explained that this was down to Atleti’s players diving all over the place.
Klopp on Mane substitution: "I was afraid his opponent would go down if Sadio took a deep breath."
— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) February 18, 2020
There was a lot of pressure for the players to perform under the lights at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, but it’s perhaps the referee who got found out the most.
Now Klopp has revealed that Mane was confused by his decision to remove him from the game at half-time, in the pre-West Ham press conference at Melwood. “I spoke to him this morning,” the boss told reporters.
“He was surprised [at being subbed]. My honest opinion was I don’t think he had a chance (of not being sent off). I would have loved to have him on the pitch, but he was fine. He is rested.”
The boss makes good point there – Mane is rested. It’s a small positive to take from a game that we lost, but a fit and raring to go Sadio is never a bad thing, especially after his recent injury.