Soccer

Jurgen Klopp justifies axing Mohamed Salah from Liverpool XI vs Aston Villa

Jurgen Klopp has justified his decision to axe Mohamed Salah from his starting line-up to face Aston Villa.

The Egyptian winger was left on the bench for Tuesday night's trip to Villa Park, with Liverpool still competing on three fronts as they chase an unprecedented quadruple. Salah played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as the Reds were held to a 1-1 draw by Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.

With the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday just four days away, Klopp explained the reasoning behind dropping Salah from his 11 for his side's midweek Premier League fixture.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the match, Klopp justified his changes by revealing: "For us it (making changes) is the only way, just to push players through all the time and for us we have the quality to use."

The 29-year-old was one of five changes from the match against Spurs, with Andy Robertson absent from the squad altogether, although Klopp claimed that was simply because he had the "day off".

Salah is the Premier League's top scorer this season with 22 league goals in 33 appearances, with his total in all competitions coming to 30.

Liverpool went into Tuesday's match three points behind league leaders City following their dropped points at the weekend, with a win at Villa taking them back level on points with their title rivals.

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A fast start in the Midlands saw the hosts take the lead inside three minutes through Douglas Luiz before Joel Matip equalised moments later.

Klopp might have wished he'd rested Fabinho, though, who pulled up in the first half and went off with a hamstring injury.

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