Wednesday 21 August 2019

'There's hope and it's football' - Mo Salah ruled out of semi as Jurgen Klopp sends message to Liverpool players

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during Liverpool Champions League Press Conference - Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during Liverpool Champions League Press Conference - Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Mohamed Salah is out of Liverpool's Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona at Anfield, but manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he will be available for next weekend's Premier League game against Wolves.

Salah suffered a concussion after a clash with Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka, with Klopp confirming his star man will be absent as Liverpool attempt to overturn a 3-0 first leg deficit and reach a second successive Champions League semi-final.

"It's a concussion, so he would not be allowed to play, that's it," stated Klopp, who confirmed Roberto Firmino will also miss the second leg. "He feels OK, but it is not good enough from a medical point of view. He can play at the weekend."

Mohamed Salah was carried off on a stretcher against Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Klopp went on to suggest Liverpool have to believe they can turn around a semi-final tie that was swung by a brilliant performance from Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp, as he encouraged his team to go down with all guns blazing.

"There's hope and it's football," he stressed. "We are not in a situation where we say it will happen 100% but it's football.

"Two of the world's best strikers are not available and we have to score four goals to go through in 90 minutes. As long as we have 11 players on the pitch we will try for 90 minutes to celebrate the Champions League campaign to give it a proper finish.

"If you chase a result you lose a bit of focus on the other part of the team. I still like how we tried and defended it apart from one situation. That's the plan. If we can do it wonderful. If we can't do it, let's fail in the most beautiful way.

"The result at Barcelona didn't help a lot, honestly. We tried all the way through that to score. We have that result and we have to deal with it. Let's give it a try with all we have."

Barcelona lost against Roma in last season's Champions League after a 4-1 first leg victory and Klopp urged his team to take encouragement from that result.

"They had 4-1 away. They scored an away goal that we didn't do, which is the big difference," he added. "It gives us that hope. I don't want to sit here and give any reason to the Barcelona players to be any more motivated though.

"We have to make a lot of decisions. Tomorrow night is the third game in six days. Barcelona changed 11 positions at the weekend. We cannot compare ourselves to Roma or anyone else but we don't have to. We will see what the outcome is."

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