​Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he took Sadio Mane off at half-time during their Champions League round of 16 first leg with Atletico Madrid simply due to the fact that he was concerned about the player being sent off.


Mane was substituted after just 45 minutes with the Reds trailing 1-0, leading fans to believe that he had suffered a recurrence of the injury that had ruled him for a couple of weeks.

​​However, journalist David Lynch claimed that the Klopp was concerned about ​Atletico targeting ​Mane - who was already on a yellow card - with their over-the-top antics and consequently getting him sent off.


Klopp confirmed these claims after the game, and had this to say on the matter (via the Daily Star): "[Mane] was targeted. It was clear. They wanted to make sure he got a yellow card.


"It is only half time but you need to be really strong as a referee in this atmosphere. Already in the first 30 minutes, three of their players went to the ground, I don't know what for."

Sadio Mane

Captain ​Jordan Henderson was also withdrawn with 15 minutes to go after he picked up an injury. Klopp added that the England international had suffered a hamstring problem and would have to be assessed.


As reported by ​Off The Post, he said: “Hendo felt his hamstring unfortunately. We have to wait. He was not too concerned but enough to go off obviously.”


​Liverpool fans will be hoping that the injury isn't too serious and that he will be back for the second leg on 11 March.


The Reds' away form in the ​Champions League has been awful since the start of last season and will hope that they can find comfort in returning to Anfield - they have lost six of the ten matches they've played on the road in Europe in that time.