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Jurgen Klopp plays down Mohamed Salah absence by namedropping seven Liverpool players

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By Aishwarya Kannan

Klopp addresses key player absences as Liverpool triumphs in FA Cup

Liverpool celebrated a significant 2-0 FA Cup victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday. Despite missing several crucial players, Liverpool’s assertive play style led them to triumph. The lineup saw numerous changes for the highly anticipated match against Arsenal.

Liverpool’s manager, Jürgen Klopp, faced a challenge with the absence of his preferred right-winger and one of this season’s top scorers, Mohamed Salah, who joined the Egyptian national team for the Africa Cup of Nations. This departure was a substantial setback for Liverpool’s attack. Although Darwin Núñez has been a formidable partner to Salah, finding an equal replacement for the Egyptian captain has proved difficult.

In addition to Salah, the team missed other key players. Wataru Endo, a notable Japanese midfielder from Liverpool, left to captain Japan in the Asia Cup. Defenders Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, and Thiago Alcântara, along with captain Andy Robertson, were sidelined due to injuries.

Jurgen Klopp talks about the 'mental' aspect of fighting on all fronts
Jurgen Klopp talks about the absence of the key players in the third round of the FA Cup

As quoted by Liverpool ECHO, Liverpool’s boss Jurgen Klopp seemingly downplayed the Egyptian winger’s absence by saying:

“Wataru Endo was not here tonight. Dom Szobsozlai was not here tonight. Andy Robertson was not here tonight. Kostas Tsimikas was not here tonight. Thiago Alcantara was not here tonight. Stefan Bajcetic was not here tonight. Joel Matip was not here tonight. That’s a really good football team we missed. If I’ve forgotten somebody, sorry.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp tries to put a nonchalant front in the wake of Mo Salah’s absence

Yes, any team is going to Mohamed Salah. There is no getting around the fact that the Egyptian is one of the most influential characters in the Premier League. However, Jurgen Klopp is trying to put up a brave front to ensure that the opposition don’t get carried away by the superstar’s absence.

iverpool star away Wataru Endo, who's on International duty, with the Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool star away Wataru Endo, who’s on International duty, with the Reds gaffer Jurgen Klopp.

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Despite these absences, Klopp’s strategy ensured Liverpool’s continued dominance in the league. This approach was evident in yesterday’s match, as Liverpool didn’t allow the loss of top players to impact their overall performance. Forwards Luis Díaz, Darwin Núñez, and Diogo Jota rose to the occasion, compensating for Salah’s absence and playing a crucial role in advancing Liverpool to the FA Cup’s fourth round.