Jurgen Klopp says Sadio Mane was fine after Liverpool’s thumping victory over Crystal Palace despite throwing a tantrum after being substituted in the game.
The Reds moved six points clear at the top of the table with an outstanding 7-0 win at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
They went ahead with a goal from Takumi Minamino and Mane – who had not scored in his previous eight league games – grabbed a second and Roberto Firmino put them three goals ahead at half time.
Henderson added a fourth goal after the restart and then before the game reached the hour-mark Klopp made some changes ahead of a busy run of games over Christmas.
Mane was replaced by Mohamed Salah – who had been rested from the starting lineup – and appeared furious, complaining as he left the pitch before watching the rest of the game with little interest.
Salah scored two goals and grabbed an assist in his cameo, though Klopp played down Mane’s reaction afterwards.
When quizzed about Mane’s tantrum, Klopp told BT Sport: ‘He was not angry because Mo came on, he was not happy because he had a look at the watch… or maybe it was because [we had a] free-kick. I don’t know exactly.
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‘But the boys, you cannot play football like this if you are just a solider and do everything what the boss says. They do what I say, but they are human beings and react in a specific way. ‘After the game Sadio was completely fine. It’s all good.’
On Liverpool’s scintillating display of attacking football, Klopp added: ‘It was hard work, a lot of counter attacks from Crystal Palace in the first half where we needed a toe or a foot to defend.
‘Our finishing in the first half was clinical. Then, 3-0 up at half time the game is not finished but we controlled the game and scored wonderful goals.
‘The boys are capable of this but it doesn’t happen every week. Today it clicked. This is a very intense period, the boys should be very proud of it. We take a day off tomorrow, then prepare for West Brom, and goal difference wise it is good because of the funny result at Villa.’