By 90Min
September 23, 2018

Some Liverpool fans will have been concerned to see summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri substituted at half time during the Reds' 3-0 win over Southampton, though the reason why he was hooked at the interval has now been revealed - and it's nothing to worry about.

The Switzerland international came into the match having just previously played 27 minutes of Premier League football for his new club, and seemed to be getting his chance to impress.

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He did so too, playing key roles in Liverpool's first and third goals as the Anfield club raced to a three-goal lead by half time. 

It was his ball that Saints defender Wesley Hoedt put into his own net, while his free-kick later in the half cannoned off the underside of the bar, allowing Mohamed Salah to prod home the third goal.

Naturally, therefore, a number of Liverpool fans were concerned that he had picked up a knock when he was swapped out at the interval.

However, Mirror reporter David Maddock has revealed on Twitter the change was entirely tactical from manager Jurgen Klopp, tweeting: "Better news is Shaqiri not injured, just tactical from Klopp, who wanted more control in midfield three, especially out wide defensively. Means he can now play Wednesday. #LFC."


Klopp also went on to speak to the club's website about his decision: "It was not easy, to be honest. It’s my job to sometimes deliver news nobody wants to hear. 

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"That’s how it was at half-time but he is a fantastic boy. I explained it to him so it’s no problem. Usually I don’t explain substitutions at half-time but I thought it made sense. It’s just good to have him; the free-kick was outstanding. That’s good. The whole team was not used to what we did today. As a new player, usually you struggle most but he didn’t – he tried everything. 


"The only problem was defensively. Offensively, it was a good idea but, how I said, we have to work on that more often. But he was good and I liked it."

Liverpool did not score in the second half, but certainly achieved greater control with Southampton never really looking like threatening the Reds.

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The news will be promising for Liverpool fans, as it now means the 26-year-old will be fit to face Chelsea as part of Liverpool's League Cup squad - where he will be expected to take on a prominent role.

Though the Premier League is certainly Liverpool's priority this season - and with six wins from six they're on the right path - a cup success seems increasingly possible too with the squad's much greater depth this season.

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