Jurgen Klopp explains why Virgil van Dijk was substituted in Brentford loss

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From Gtech Community Stadium – Jurgen Klopp has given a reason as to why he brought off Virgil van Dijk at half-time in Liverpool’s 3-1 loss at Brentford on Monday.

The Reds fell behind to an own goal from Ibrahima Konate before poor defending allowed Yoane Wissa to add a second before the half-time break.

Klopp hauled off Van Dijk, Kostas Tsimikas and Harvey Elliott at the interval, replacing them with Joel Matip, Andy Robertson and Naby Keita. A fast start to the second half saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pull one back, but Bryan Mbeumo iced the game late on.

Speaking to the press post-match, Klopp was quizzed on his decision to withdraw Van Dijk in particular.

“Hopefully not [an injury]. Virgil felt his muscle a little and that is fine, he’s a good judge of these kind of things. But I didn’t want to take any risk,” he said.

“The physios looked quite happy when I said we don’t take risks. I think it’s not an injury, it’s just he felt the intensity.”

Explaining why he brought off Tsimikas and Elliott, Klopp added: “The other two things were tactical. We obviously have opportunities, we could bring Naby on, who I think played a really good game, and Robbo, and he was in the first action after half-time. He was what we needed, we needed that speed in behind. That was the reason for these two changes.”

Liverpool now sit four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United having played a game more than their bitter foes.

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mrB

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