A number of Liverpool fans questioned the decision by Jurgen Klopp to withdraw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain towards the end of normal time in last night’s Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid.
The 26-year-old was the first Reds player to be substituted when he went off for James Milner in the 82nd minute with his team 1-0 up and heading for a 30-minute period of extra time that would eventually materialise and duly witness three Atletico goals which ended Liverpool’s reign as European champions. [via BBC]
Oxlade-Chamberlain had made his mark on the game prior to his withdrawal, providing the cross from which Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring as well as taking six shots (second most of any Reds player), playing two key passes, completing two dribbles and making three interceptions (as per WhoScored).
His performance was commended by reporters such as Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo, who wrote of an “excellent performance with joy early on down the right”, and Gideon Brooks of the Daily Express, who described him as a “powerful driving force through middle and right” in making a “massive contribution”.
Having watched their team’s Champions League campaign fall asunder after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s withdrawal, these Liverpool fans on Twitter lamented Klopp’s decision to take him off, with one Kopite feeling that Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone must have been very relieved to see him being substituted:
Hindsight is easy but with the way the game turned out taking Ox off and replacing him with Milner wasn’t the right sub, Ox pace was causing Atletico all sorts of problems up to when he was subbed, bet Simeone was relieved to see him going off
— John O Sullivan (@Corballyred) March 11, 2020
For me Klopps got that all wrong! Ox best player on the pitch should’ve never came off. 2-0 in extra time we should’ve been bringing on Matip and Fabinho and shutting up shop. Disappointed
— Joseph Walshe (@walshe14) March 11, 2020
why did he take ox off though? he was roasting them and we were 2-0 up. then he goes off and we concede 3 in 30 minutes https://t.co/at2oPmR299
— gk (@gk_ennedy) March 11, 2020
Honestly I personally felt when Klopp took out Ox for Milner we kinda did lose because Ox was causing all kinds of trouble for Atletico with his runs and his off the ball work not saying Milner was bad after he came on but Ox was what we were missing in Madrid
— YCLee (@YCLee18122001) March 11, 2020
Bad move to take Ox off. He was driving us forward brilliantly
— Justin (@justinmcc71) March 12, 2020
Pulling Ox off of the pitch first was baffling
— Oliver Fletcher (@OliverxFletcher) March 11, 2020
taking Ox off turned the tie. He was our best player by a long way at the time.
Klopp has to take some blame for that. Went defensive with Milner and that's all she wrote!!!.
Put Matip in goal against Everton as well, would be better Adrian… #LIVATL
— Daniel Edwards (@Daniel_0124) March 11, 2020
Do you think the withdrawal of Oxlade-Chamberlain was a turning point in Liverpool’s defeat last night? Comment below with your views!