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.
Liverpool sign Xherdan Shaqiri
"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."
Source: Read Full Article