Jurgen Klopp has held discussions with Naby Keita following Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid.
The Reds were beaten 3-1 in what was a poor showing, especially during the first-half.
Changes were made before the break in an effort to alter the contest which meant Keita was hauled off after 42 minutes and replaced by Thiago.
The midfielder is in his third year at Anfield and the consensus is that he hasn’t produced his best football as of yet.
Keita’s ability has long been recognised and Klopp defended the Guinea international, who has accepted his cut throat decision.
“Naby has played important games for us, great games for us, scored important goals for us,” said Klopp.
“But you asked the question probably because of the early substitution last game and that was a decision I made in that moment.
“We had to sort the game and it was difficult to do that without making and change. Yesterday we spoke and everything is okay.
“I explained the decision and he accepted it obviously so now we carry on.”
Immediately after the game Klopp was keen to explain his thought process behind the decision.
The German insists the move was tactical and Keita wasn’t the only player whose performance fell below standards.
He said: “It was tactical, it was tactical. That’s now things I don’t like in the job, stuff like this. You do that and then it’s like the one player is responsible for the performance of the first half.
“Naby was not responsible for that. He didn’t play for a while, especially not from the start, and these kind of things.
“We were not good in the game, Naby was not good in the game but we all saw the game so, to be honest, I could have made a few more changes in that moment.
“So it was not about Naby but I did it and I am now not happy about it because we talk about it like it was Naby’s responsibility. It was not. But it was tactical, that’s it.”
Liverpool remain in their quarter-final tie but will need to produce a stellar display at Anfield to overcome the Spanish giants.
Mohamed Salah’s away goal gives the Reds hope as they target a second European success in three years.