Former Nigeria international and Deportivo La Coruna Goalkeeper, Peter Rufai has criticized Liverpool Manager, Jurgen Klopp on the German’s decision to substitute Mohammed Salah in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League first-leg semi-final against AS Roma.
Liverpool were ahead 5-0 in the 75th minute when Salah, who had scored a brace, was substituted by Klopp.
That decision almost cost the home side as the momentum of the game then turned in favor of Roma.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s men responded with two quick goals as Liverpool struggled to find their rhythm up front.
The substitution was a pivotal moment in the game Rufai said during his analysis of the match on Brila Fm.
‘Salah was in the zone and his presence on the pitch forced AS Roma to the ropes. He was on two goals and the Manager should have left him out there.
‘The instance he was subbed off, you could see Liverpool struggled to create any chances and that almost cost them Tonight,’ Rufai explained.
Eden Dzeko’s 81st minute goal and Diego Perotti’s Penalty, 4 minutes later, gave AS Roma valuable away goals and a lifeline ahead of the second-leg in Rome.
The last time out, Giallorossi shocked Barcelona to overturn a first-leg 4-1 deficit, with a spectacular 3-0 second-leg performance.
However, Rufai does not believe the Italians will be second time lucky.
‘As of now Salah is unstoppable and though we all saw what Roma did to Barcelona in Rome, I don’t think they can achieve that comeback again.
‘Barcelona did not put in the kind of physical fight required for that game. With Liverpool it’ll be a different kettle of fish, because, the hallmark of this team is in their physical play, cohesion and all round tactics.
‘I can tell you Salah might even come up with two goals in the second-leg in Rome.’
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