Jurgen Klopp hails ‘truly exceptional’ Mohamed Salah for breaking Steven Gerrard’s Champions League scoring record as he defends his decision to play talisman for full 90 minutes in dead rubber with Midtjylland
- Mohamed Salah scored inside one minute as Liverpool faced FC Midtjylland
- The Reds drew the game and finished top of their Champions League group
- Salah now has 23 European goals for Liverpool and surpasses Steven Gerrard
- Klopp insists he needed Salah, despite the match being a dead rubber contest
Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on his ‘exceptional’ forward Mohamed Salah after the Egyptian broke another record and passed club legend Steven Gerrard.
Salah’s goal inside one minute against FC Midtjylland put him on 23 Champions League strikes for the Reds, one better than arguably Liverpool’s all-time greatest player.
Klopp courted controversy by playing Salah for the whole 90 minutes plus eight additional minutes of added time, but waxed lyrical about his player following the full-time whistle.
Mohamed Salah’s goal inside one minute against Midtjylland saw him surpass Steven Gerrard
The Egyptian now has 23 Champions League goals, one more than club legend Gerrard
‘It is one record after another, and I am pretty sure he is proud of that… he should be,’ said Klopp in his pre-match press conference.
‘He’s an exceptional player, just an absolutely exceptional player and since we have been together a lot of things really clicked.
‘He appreciates the help of the team too. Even his incredible number of goals wouldn’t be enough alone for us to be successful.
‘But he is truly exceptional. Nobody doubted it, but if you need numbers to prove, he delivers that as well.’
Jurgen Klopp labeled his striker ‘truly exceptional’ and backed his decision to select him
Salah scored and remained on the pitch, despite the game being a dead rubber for Liverpool
Klopp has been very vocal this season regarding football’s hectic playing schedule and the increased risk to players with the matches building up.
Yet, despite his side having safely progressed to the knockout stages, Klopp opted to start his key man Salah and keep him on the field in Denmark for the full 98 minute duration of the game.
When asked about this in the aftermath, Klopp stuck to his guns and explained why he ‘needed’ Salah and felt his inclusion necessary.
‘You can make changes but you need a few key positions,’ Klopp said.
‘It could have been one of the other three up front (to play 90 minutes) as well.
Salah’s status at the club is reflected by his breaking of records held by the likes of Gerrard
‘That was the decision for Mo and how the game developed and how the game looked, Mo looked fine so that’s why we didn’t take him off.
‘Even though players don’t play that much it is difficult to get through 90 minutes after a pretty long time when you don’t play 90 minutes.
‘I was in contact with Mo and he didn’t have any issues, which is why he stayed on the pitch.’
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