Jurgen Klopp has allayed concerns about the fitness of Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk for Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28 by saying the two players are “kind of okay” after being caught during penalties were substituted in the FA Cup final win against Chelsea.
Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer with 30 goals this season, hobbled out of the cup final after just 33 minutes with a groin strain, while centre-back Van Dijk missed extra time with a muscle problem.
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Both players took to the pitch at the end of the game while the rest of Klopp’s players ran to celebrate after Kostas Tsimikas scored the winning penalty in the 6-5 penalty shootout win.
But although Klopp said Salah and Van Dijk are unlikely to play in Tuesday’s Premier League game against Southampton at St Mary’s, the Liverpool manager was more optimistic about the full extent of their injuries.
“I think [Salah, Van Dijk] are kind of fine,” Klopp told ESPN’s Alexis Nunes. “I don’t think they’ll be ready for Tuesday to be honest… I don’t think they would have been ready for Tuesday anyway!
“But I think they’re okay, it was more of a precaution. Mo felt something, said I could move on and I had to make a decision, I said no… if you feel something on the pitch it’s not like that .” gets better [if you keep playing]staying is not the best treatment!
“It was clearer with Virgil: 90 minutes yes, 120 minutes no.
“But what a situation, you bring Joel Matip! Oh my God! That’s really cool.
When he was asked by reporters as he left the stadium if he was fit for the Champions League final, Salah called back: “Of course.”
Liverpool have now won two trophies this season – the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup – and are still chasing glory in the Premier League and Champions League.
And captain Jordan Henderson said Liverpool are now solely focused on winning the remaining games of the season.
“We’ve won two so far this season,” said Henderson. “We still have some big games ahead of us. We just have to keep going to the end and see what we can finish.
“We need to recover quickly, another big game on Tuesday against Southampton, we need to be prepared for that. And then Wolves at the weekend to wrap up the Premier League season and then the Champions League final.
“We have three big games left and hopefully we can win all three and end the season on a high note.”