Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has leapt to the defence of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisting it is not his counterpart’s fault that Manchester United fielded a weakened side in their loss to Leicester on Tuesday night, one which damages the Reds’ chances of a top-four finish.
Many Liverpool supporters were left furious after United’s 2-1 Old Trafford loss to Leicester, in which Solskjaer made 10 changes.
Mason Greenwood was the only player to keep his place in the starting eleven from the previous Premier League win over Aston Villa two days prior.
Yet Klopp says he completely understands why Solskjaer made so many changes, which helped Leicester record a dominant and deserved victory.
However, the German hit out at the Premier League’s fixture scheduling for leaving United with three games in such a short space of time.
It was thought the rearranged United vs Liverpool game might be put on this coming Sunday, with the Merseyside outfit’s clash with West Brom – which will go ahead on that day as normal – to be moved to midweek.
Instead, the Red Devils were handed a hectic turnaround which prompted Solskjaer to make sweeping changes to his XI, but Klopp refused to hit out at the United manager’s decision-making.
He said: “It was the line-up I expected. Not exactly but I knew he had to make these changes. They played Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday.
“I’ve said it 500 times, with all the things that happened and the protest in Manchester that lead to that situation, to play Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday is a crime. It is. It’s not the fault of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the players.
“My question was to myself, would I have done the same? Yes, you have to. You have to. We are late in the season. United went to the Europa League final, that means an awful lot of games.
“Now you get Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. That’s not possible. But the weekend off is a weekend off for United. They play now Thursday and have the weekend off.
“I’m not the guy doing the schedule, the fixture list, but when we thought how it could work out on the day the game got cancelled and we drove home on the bus.
“We made our fixtures and there was no Tuesday, Thursday game. We would have played all the games and moved one West Brom game. But that didn’t happen.
“The explanation from the Premier League was no other team should suffer because of the things that happened in Manchester. That didn’t work out pretty well. Obviously nobody else [suffered] but a little bit West Ham, a little bit Liverpool.
“But if we don’t go to the Champions League and don’t qualify for it, it’s not the fault of Solskjaer because of team selection or the Premier League, it’s our fault.
“But in this specific case, I think you could have done it differently. But you get more and more used to things barely going in your favour or in your direction and just accept it.”
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