Hearts were in throats all over the world when Liverpool fans saw Mohamed Salah go down with an apparent groin injury during Liverpool’s penalty shootout win over Chelsea in the FA Cup Final last night. The Reds had been dominating the play up until that point, but Salah had to come off just 33 minutes in, and it took the wind out of their sails.
Liverpool then had to sub off center-back Virgil van Dijk at full time, forcing them to complete extra time without the anchor of their back four. Van Dijk coming off was not expected, so many guessed it must be an injury rather than a tactical change.
Salah and van Dijk are probably the last two players anyone would want to see miss any time through injury, so there were some quiet concerns about their status even during the celebrations after last night’s victory. Thankfully, Jürgen Klopp has provided an update on their injuries and confirmed that their substitutions were more cautionary than anything.
“We had to change Mo early, which was not cool. It was my decision, it was pretty cautionary,” admitted Klopp in his post-match press conference. “Mo said, ‘I feel something, I can carry on.’ I said, ‘No.’ A football game is not a perfect physiotherapist, it means it rarely gets better during a game.
“Then Virg stands with me and says, ‘I feel something but it’s fine I think.’ We make a decision together, so he stays on but was clear when we didn’t make it in 90 minutes he has to go off.”
“Obviously I spoke to both already after the game, both are really OK. All that we know is it’s not a big thing, we really came through.”
It’s hard to say at this point whether Salah and van Dijk will miss any time. While the injuries sound quite minor, the Reds only have a few days before they face Southampton, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were both held out of that one to make sure they are fully healed.
“But the next game is on Tuesday and that’s obviously pretty quick,” said Klopp. “No, I think they both will be fine, but not… maybe… we have training tomorrow morning, then if they tell me ‘I’m completely fine’ I will be surprised but I will take it and then we have to go from there. So we will see.”