Jurgen Klopp explains Alexis Mac Allister sub – “Like he’s running out of gas”

Jurgen Klopp has indicated that there is little to read into his decision to substitute Alexis Mac Allister during the dramatic 4-3 victory over Fulham.

The Reds were forced to dig deep against Marco Silva’s side, going behind to a Bobby De Cordova-Reid header with 10 minutes left on the clock after the first half ended 2-2.

Brilliant strikes from Wataru Endo and Trent Alexander-Arnold were enough to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, putting Liverpool just a point behind league leaders Arsenal.

Mac Allister was removed shortly after the hour mark as part of a shake-up in the middle of the pitch, but Klopp insists the change wasn’t performance-related.

“No, no, I don’t want to create something,” he said when asked about the motivation behind bringing the World Cup winner off in the second half.

“[If] he didn’t get a knock, is tactical something bad? That means he wasn’t good enough? That’s what you usually make of it, right?

“If somebody gets changed tactically, ‘he just was not good enough’?

“It looked a bit like he’s running out of gas, we had other players on the bench and that’s why we changed.”

Klopp went on to explain how the withdrawal of Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai saw a change to a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ryan Gravenberch alongside each other in midfield.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister scores the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Earlier, Mac Allister had restored Liverpool’s advantage in the first half with an incredible strike from 30 yards that flew into the top corner of Bernd Leno’s goal.

The Argentine has featured in 13 Premier League games so far this season, missing only the 3-0 victory at home to Brentford due to suspension last month.

He has spent the majority of his time on Merseyside operating as a defensive midfielder, establishing himself as one of the first names on the manager’s teamsheet in the process.

Klopp was quick to dismiss the idea that his substitution was noteworthy, instead explaining that fresh legs were needed for Liverpool to turn the game around.

A busy festive period awaits for the Reds, when the manager will need to use the full depth of his squad to put the points on the board that are required.