Salah clearly expressed his dissatisfaction with Klopp’s decision.
Mohamed Salah didn’t hide his feelings and displayed frustration upon being substituted during Liverpool’s inaugural Premier League match of the 2023/24 season against Chelsea.
In what was a high-intensity game at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool and Chelsea engaged in an enthralling contest, drawing attention as one of the weekend’s most anticipated fixtures.
Despite the efforts of both teams, neither side could gain an upper hand on the field, resulting in a spirited 1-1 draw.
Opportunities to secure a victory presented themselves to both sides, but ultimately, they had to settle for a shared point.
How Chelsea vs Liverpool kicked off the Premier League season in entertaining fashion
The first goal of the match unfolded as Salah was released down the right flank by the recently acquired player, Alexis Mac Allister. After maneuvering inside, Salah executed a precise defense-splitting pass to Luis Diaz.
With a pristine strike from Diaz’s left foot, the ball soared into the bottom corner of the net, completely eluding the grasp of Robert Sanchez who was making his debut in goal.
The Egyptian winger from Liverpool believed he had widened his team’s lead, having orchestrated the initial goal. He managed to locate the back of the net by receiving a pinpoint pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold, but his goal celebration was cut short as VAR ruled him offside by a narrow margin.
After the disallowed goal, the visitors seemed to lose their momentum, allowing Chelsea to regain their rhythm and composure in the latter portion of the first half.
On his home debut, Axel Disasi managed to nudge the ball past Alisson, equalizing the score for the home team. Shortly thereafter, Ben Chilwell appeared to have given the hosts the lead.
The English full-back found himself in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, calmly dribbled around him, and calmly slotted the ball into the net with his right foot. However, reminiscent of Salah’s earlier situation, an extremely close offside decision annulled the goal, much to the relief of Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Salah’s angry reaction to substitution
The second half continued as an end-to-end spectacle for the neutral to enjoy, and fans involved with either side to dread. A main talking point was not something many would have expected however with a lack of goals.
With a quarter of an hour left in the match, Klopp opted to substitute Diaz and Salah in favor of the young pair, Harvey Elliott and Ben Doak, offering them an opportunity to make an impression.
It’s safe to say that Salah was far from pleased with his manager’s decision, as his typically composed demeanor gave way to a visibly frustrated and uncharacteristically angry response while exiting the field.
As his jersey number was displayed on the fourth official’s board, Salah made his way towards the dugout, shaking his head and taking off his wrist tape with evident displeasure. Each piece of tape he discarded onto the Stamford Bridge turf attracted further jeers from the crowd, his former home supporters.
Salah is renowned for his desire to be on the field as much as possible, and in that particular moment, his record of scoring in six consecutive Premier League opening day matches also came to an end.
For the first time in his Premier League career, Mohamed Salah has failed to score on the opening weekend. 😯 pic.twitter.com/mZM2hs6xtg
— Squawka (@Squawka) August 13, 2023
While it can be assumed that Salah was not directing his anger at the players being brought on in his place, there was no acknowledgement of his boss once he had exited the pitch, with Klopp also uninterested.
You can watch the incident for yourselves below.
Video: Salah frustrated after being subsituted
Mo Salah not happy at being substituted pic.twitter.com/7w1tZIK9sn
— Daniel Kingsley (@oluwaDanieli) August 13, 2023
Mo Salah is NOT happy with being subbed off 😳 pic.twitter.com/QpZuI17qWE
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 13, 2023
It is not the first time Klopp has had to deal with this type of issue during his reign at Anfield, with Sadio Mane showing an equally rage-filled reaction to being brought off at Turf Moor previously.
And speaking about the incident after the game, Klopp said that he completely understood Salah’s frustrations.
“I can understand because if Mo scored it would have been a new record for goals scored in the opening game but I didn’t think about that,” the coach toldSky Sports, perBBC Sport. “We needed stability and we needed fresh legs. It was super intense for everybody.
“That’s all I can say about it, his reaction was absolutely okay. When I sub a player and he is jumping in to my arms at 1-1 and he is a striker who thinks he will score, I would be really surprised so that’s absolutely fine.”
Salah will be eager to get on the scoresheet in Liverpool’s next fixture. The Reds host Bournemouth on Saturday 19th August, eager to get a first win of the season.