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Jurgen Klopp believes five substitutes will benefit players

Brighton and Hove Albion v Liverpool – Premier League – The AMEX Stadium
(Image credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted again that five substitutes would be for the benefit of the players following his side’s 1-1 draw at Brighton.

A last gasp Brighton penalty equaliser denied Liverpool victory to cancel out Diogo Jota’s cleverly-worked opener.

Neal Maupay had already fired wide with Brighton’s first penalty of the match, when referee Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot following a VAR review, and Pascal Gross made no mistake second-time round, firing the ball past Alisson Becker to level.

Liverpool had the ball in the back of the net twice only for VAR to intervene and rule both Mohamed Salah’s first-half strike and Sadio Mane’s header out for offside.

When asked about the penalty and the two disallowed goals, Klopp said: “My analysts told me that Mo (Salah) was offside, very very close but small margins like that a toe or whatever. Sadio (Mane) was with his upper body, I didn’t see that I heard that but that sounds like twice offside even when it was close. But good play, all these kind of things.

“Second penalty is a penalty because the ref whistled it. Because there was contact and the ref thinks it’s enough and we can not change that obviously, and that’s the whole situation.”

Klopp’s injury-hit squad were also dealt a further blow when James Milner was forced off with a hamstring injury, although club captain Jordan Henderson made his return for the first time since the international break as a half-time substitute.

When asked if he retained hope that the substitute allowance could be increased to five, the German said: “If it would be about me I would have never mentioned it, but it’s about the players. Each moment when it would happen it would be good for the players. Brighton lost today two players and they played one game a week with muscle injuries, so the most difficult time is coming up now – for Sheffield United as well by the way and we will see.”

He added: “If we would have had five subs today then Andy Robertson I would have taken off, I have Kostas Tsimikas on the bench and he could play 15, 20 minutes whatever, so we don’t have a lot of options in the moment – we have but they are all offensive so you can’t just bring them all through the season.

“And it’s not the solution but it’s a little help that is all. Whatever Chris Wilder says, I speak only about Liverpool, he speaks only about Sheffield United that’s true, he admitted that in the manager’s meeting, but I speak about football players.”

Brighton manager Graham Potter was pleased with his side’s performance and insisted his side deserved something.

When asked about the second penalty, Potter said: “It wasn’t the most stonewall penalty that I’ve seen I would say. But we spoke about it before the game, sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t and it’s a beautiful part of football that will always be debated – referees decisions and linesman’s decisions as well.

“We said as well that you need the margins to go your way in the Premier League and I thought it clearly went our way today but at the same time I thought our performance level was really really good and we deserved something.”