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UEFA Champions League

Klopp: I Hated Mane Substitution

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed why he was forced to take Sadio Mane off in their 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.

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The Senegal international was substituted at half-time during the Reds' victory over Diego Simeone's side, despite finding the back of the net 21 minutes into the tie.

Six minutes prior, however, Mane had received a yellow card for dissent and was later stamped on by Atletico defender Felipe, who was handed a straight red card.

To protect the African superstar from potentially being riled up and provoked into picking up a second yellow, Klopp replaced him at the break with Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino, but later admitted he "hated" having to make that call.  

"I think everyone in the stadium expected that they would (try and get Mane sent off)," Klopp said, according to the Liverpool Echo.

"And I thought it was the right thing to do (to bring him off). I hated it more than you can imagine because Sadio was playing an incredible game.

"I was not worried that Sadio cannot handle his emotions, he was calm, but the thing is if the ball comes in the air, he challenges and the other player is going down.

"We all saw what some Madrid players did, just rolling over more and more in these situations, just to equal the number of players again. I didn't see a red card, I saw a yellow card, but I saw it back and his foot was high and it hit his Achilles. So, it's a red card.

"Do I want the other team to go one man down? No. But with the intense schedule it is important to control the game. I don't think it changed too much but, of course, it is a different game.

"We are in November and we try to get through these games pretty maturely, but it didn't work out as Bobby got injured and that's not good."

Liverpool have won all four of their Champions League group games this season, scoring an impressive 13 goals along the way.

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