Wijnaldum was almost subbed before his winner, reveals Liverpool boss Klopp

By Sports Desk September 28, 2019

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed he almost substituted Georginio Wijnaldum shortly before his decisive goal in Saturday's 1-0 win over Sheffield United.

The Reds had struggled to break down Chris Wilder's spirited side and looked destined to drop points in the Premier League for the first time this season.

Netherlands international Wijnaldum ensured they made it seven wins out of seven, though, when his volley from the edge of the penalty area squirmed through the grasp of goalkeeper Dean Henderson 20 minutes from time at Bramall Lane. 

Klopp says he was close to bringing the midfielder off six minutes earlier but ultimately opted to introduce Divock Origi at the expense of Jordan Henderson.

"It was an offensive change," the Reds boss told a media conference. "We had the opportunity to take off either Hendo or Gini. Both worked hard; for both it was not an easy game.

"Obviously I made the right decision as Gini stayed on the pitch and scored!"

"We wanted to change our approach so we could have then Roberto [Firmino] finally between the lines but still an option in behind with Mo [Salah]. We needed to defend the wings properly because they were there constantly.

"Divock made a proper impact when he came on. It was really helpful that we could pass the ball there for the one-on-one situations and I think he crossed the ball before the goal as well."

Liverpool were far from their fluid best against Wilder's well-drilled side and Klopp says the Blades can feel hard done by in not holding on to secure a point.

"All respect to Sheffield United," he added. "They did really well and they did that over 90 minutes; that really deserves all the respect.

"We still had big chances and then we had luck around the goal, that is clear. It was not our biggest chance in the game and it was unlucky for Sheffield United for sure.

"So, if it had been a draw I would sit here and say that's how it was today, Sheffield United deserved it and that's what we deserved.

"I don't think we would have deserved to lose but a draw was there if we didn't take the chances. But we got the three points and that leaves me pretty happy at the moment, obviously."

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