What Klopp said to Shaqiri after taking him off at half-time

Jurgen Klopp says he sacrificed Xherdan Shaqiri at half-time against Southampton because he wanted "more control" of the game.

Making his first start for the Reds, Shaqiri shone during the first period of the 3-0 win at Anfield , forcing the early own goal from Wesley Hoedt and then seeing a fine free-kick bounce down off the crossbar for Mo Salah to tap in.

Joel Matip headed home in between those goals as the Reds dominated , but Klopp saw fit to replace Shaqiri – who had started in the midfield three – with James Milner at the break.

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"I said to Shaq that I have never taken a player off at half-time after such an influential half but we wanted more control," he said. "He wasn’t injured.

"Shaq is a fantastic boy. The free-kick was outstanding. He tried everything and he is a good player to have. Great offensively, needs a little work defensively."

Southampton boss Mark Hughes also praised Shaqiri – who he managed at Stoke – after the game.

"I had the benefit of Shaqiri’s free kicks for a long time," he said. "I’m pleased for him, he’s got a fantastic move.

"He’s always felt he was a top six player. He’s a good guy and he’ll add to the character of the group as well I’m sure."

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