Jurgen Klopp has revealed Alexis Mac Allister felt “relief” at his substitution after Liverpool’s poor first-half performance in the 3-1 win at Wolves on Saturday.
The Reds, without Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, fell behind early on when Hwang Hee-chan converted after great work from Pedro Neto and struggled to create chances throughout the first half.
Mac Allister had a rather ordinary 45 minutes after travelling to South America to play for Argentina during the international break, being booked early on and struggling with the pace Wolves played with.
The former Brighton midfielder came off at half-time for Luis Diaz and Liverpool equalised in the 55th minute through Cody Gakpo before Andy Robertson’s smart finish and Hugo Bueno’s own goal handed Klopp a 3-1 win.
Klopp admitted after the game changes were needed at half-time to get Liverpool back into the contest, Mac Allister’s substitution being one of them after a tough schedule packed with travelling.
He said: “The good thing about the first half was that it was that bad that I didn’t think we could play the second half like that.
“Obviously we wanted to start completely differently, but for whatever reason it was not possible for the boys, you can see it.
“Low energy level, Macca [Mac Allister], some others as well, you could just see they struggled. We couldn’t change five times at half-time, so we thought we’d change the system and one player, and give us a bit more speed up front, natural speed.
“He had some good moments in the first half but he was not disappointed to come off, more relief.”
Further substitutes Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott helped Liverpool take a stronger hold on the match after a first half where Gary O’Neil’s Wanderers looked regularly threatening.
The second-half comeback maintained the Reds’ unbeaten start to the season, sitting behind current league leaders Manchester City and level with Tottenham on 13 points. They visit LASK on their return to the Europa League on Thursday before hosting West Ham next weekend.