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06th Apr 2017

Jurgen Klopp reveals why he was forced to take Philippe Coutinho off in 2-2 draw with Bournemouth

He didn't want to do it

Darragh Murphy

Whether your side is winning or losing, supporters never want to see the team’s best player leave the field.

After falling behind early on to a Benik Afobe goal, Liverpool looked to have steadied the ship as Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi gave the home side a 2-1 advantage after an hour had been played.

But just minutes later, Coutinho was removed from the fray and replaced by Joel Matip.

And while defensive changes are often called for, when Matip came on Liverpool were left with two holding midfielders, three centre-halves and two full-backs which was always going to invite pressure.

The Reds were left wanting when Bournemouth eventually equalised at the death and, yet again, Liverpool were chasing a goal.

Coutinho was very comfortable on the bench at that stage and manager Jurgen Klopp has since revealed why the Brazilian playmaker was forced out of the game.

“We had to change Phil because he felt sick at half-time,” Klopp said. “There’s no joy in taking off your best player on the pitch, and the decision was go three at the back and allow the fullbacks to use space on the wings.

“He said after the match he feels better now, so that’s good.”

Perhaps there’s something going around Anfield because Klopp himself admitted he felt the need to vomit, although that probably had more to do with the Cherries’ sickening equaliser than any virus.

“Usually you close the game in one moment, we didn’t, we left it open,” Klopp said of the late goal.

“Then it’s a second ball after a set piece and that made me nearly vomit. That’s of course not nice. We have to take it. It’s my responsibility, all of this, and I have to be clear in this situations. I will find a solution for this.”

Liverpool remain in third spot with the draw, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea and five behind second-placed Spurs.