Jurgen Klopp wasn’t sure what Thiago Alcantara had said to him after he was substituted for Liverpool yesterday.
Klopp took the Spaniard off to a standing ovation after his sumptuous display helped The Reds to a 4-0 win over bitter rivals Manchester United.
But speaking to the press after the game via liverpoolfc.com, Klopp said he initially couldn’t make out what his player had said to him as they embraced on the touchline.
Fearing Thiago had injured himself, the boss was relieved to learn that the 31-year-old had merely ripped his shorts, not his muscle.
“He ripped his pants! No, shorts… afterwards he told me. I didn’t get that,” said Klopp. “I thought it was something else, but obviously that was fine.”
Phew! Watching on TV, you could see Klopp do a quick double-take after speaking to Thiago on the touchline. Had the midfielder injured himself after delivering a masterclass at Anfield, it would have been a catastrophe for Liverpool.
Thiago getting up to speed
Managing Thiago’s fitness issues has been problematic for Liverpool since the Spain international signed in 2020.
Somewhat surprisingly, he has now managed 60 games for The Reds. But up until recently, he had tended to miss the games that really mattered.
After two excellent displays against Manchester City and a Man of the Match showing against United, he is now starting to make up for lost time.
Liverpool have already booked an FA Cup final against Chelsea next month. They are strong favourites to reach the Champions League final and now have six cup finals remaining in the Premier League.
Fingers crossed that Thiago can keep up his level of performance for those enormous games to come. If he can, the frustration of the previous 18 months will all be forgotten.
Liverpool signed the former Bayern Munich man to add a touch of unpredictability to their game. Watching his disguised passes and swivels of the hips last night, it was abundantly clear that he is now ready to provide that.
It would have been just his luck to have been injured in the process. Thankfully, Thiago is fine and Liverpool fans can look forward to watching him purr around the pitch for the mammoth month ahead.