Mohamed Salah reacted furiously after Jurgen Klopp hauled him off early in the second half of Liverpool’s defeat by Chelsea – and Jamie Carragher was left “surprised” over the decision.
The Reds went toe-to-toe with their Premier League rivals at Anfield on Thursday night, with Klopp no doubt desperate to get his team’s top-four pursuit back on track.
But they trailed to a first-half goal by Mason Mount and, in a bid to fight their way back into the contest, the German manager opted for a double substitution in the 62nd minute, with Diogo Jota and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on.
However, somewhat surprisingly, Salah – who is the Premier League’s top scorer with 17 goals this season – was one of the casualties alongside midfielder Curtis Jones.
And the Egyptian superstar was livid with the decision, shaking his head as he walked off the pitch before walking straight past his manager and taking his seat on the Anfield bench.
TV cameras then picked up an angry Salah, sat down in the stands, still shaking his head and looking stone-faced.
Indeed, the decision also left Liverpool legend Carragher, who was on commentary duties for Sky Sports, also confused.
He said: “I’m surprised at Mo Salah coming off, l really am. He doesn’t look too happy himself.
“Liverpool need a goal and he is the top scorer in the Premier League.”
It was the latest incident in what has been a tough season for the reigning Premier League champions.
The defending champions have slipped from top spot to sixth due to a dreadful run since Christmas but a much-needed victory at Sheffield United got them back on track.
However they endured a miserable night against Thomas Tuchel’s Blues, handing them a huge blow in their bid to secure a top-four spot.
The visitors enjoyed the better of the first half with Timo Werner having a goal ruled out when his arm was adjudged to have been offside 20 yards earlier in the build-up.
But the visitors got the breakthrough they had been threatening just before half-time when N’Golo Kante’s quick ball out to the left wing picked out Mason Mount and he cut inside to fire home.
Liverpool battled back in the second half but struggled to find a way past the Blues’ stubborn defence.
And, despite knocking on the door, Klopp’s men failed to find an eqauliser.