7 Players Who Reacted Angrily to Substitutions After De Bruyne Against Liverpool

7 Players Who Reacted Angrily to Substitutions After De Bruyne Against Liverpool

Elijah Odetokun
March 11, 2024 at 9:16 AM
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  • Kevin De Bruyne was not happy at being substituted against Liverpool
  • The Belgian was taken off in the second half of the 1-1 draw at Anfield
  • He was not the first top player to express displeasure at being taken off

Liverpool's 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield had a lot of talking points, one of which was Kevin De Bruyne’s displeased reaction to being substituted.

De Bruyne was taken off in the 69th minute and replaced by Mateo Kovacic, and the Belgian made evident his anger towards Pep Guardiola, who later went to him on the bench for some words.

Kevin De Bruyne, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool, Manchester City, Anfield, Premier League.
Kevin De Bruyne reacts to Pep Guardiola after he was substituted during Manchester City's 1-1 draw against Liverpool. Photo by Peter Byrne.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief looks at previous occasions in which footballers reacted furiously to substitutions.

Players who reacted to substitutions

1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi’s time at Paris Saint-Germain was not the best of his career. In his first year under Mauricio Pochettino, he was substituted in the 76th minute of a 2-1 win over Olympique Lyon. He reacted angrily and refused the manager's handshake.

Per Goal, Pochettino downplayed any bad blood with his compatriot’s reaction and said coaches are there to make decisions, whether it pays off or not.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s second spell at Manchester United was filled with drama. Under Ralf Rangnick, he was not happy to be substituted in the 70th minute during the club's 3-1 win over Brentford with the scores at 2-0. Per Evening Standard, the manager described the incident as “too emotional”.

3. Mohamed Salah

On the opening day of the 2023/24 Premier League season, Mohamed Salah was taken off in the 76th minute for Liverpool against Chelsea and reacted angrily. He missed out on his customary opening-day goal, and Jurgen Klopp was unconcerned.

4. James Milner

This is a rather funny episode between James Milner and Klopp. The veteran was unhappy with his substitution, but his replacement, Curtis Jones, immediately assisted Salah for the opener en route to a 3-1 win over West Ham. The manager and player busted out laughing on the touchline.

5. Olivier Giroud

The striker played 41 minutes at the 2022 World Cup final. Argentina were 2-0 up, and Didier Deschamps hooked off Giroud and Ousmane Dembele in the first half. The former Chelsea man reacted angrily, slamming water bottles on the touchline. Argentina won 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in 120 minutes.

6. Granit Xhaka

The fans booed the Swiss midfielder off the pitch after he was substituted against Crystal Palace in 2019. He made an explicit gesture towards the fans. It could have been the end of his Arsenal career, but he stayed four more years before leaving last summer.

7. Dele Alli

Dele Alli’s decline was pronounced under Jose Mourinho. The player was substituted in a Champions League game and threw tantrums on the touchline. The Special One claimed Alli was angry at himself and the team was better without him.

Guardiola explains De Bruyne’s substitution

Sports Brief reported on Guardiola explaining De Bruyne’s substitution, which led to the midfielder reacting furiously during City's 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

The manager disclosed it was for tactical reasons, as he preferred a different player profile to keep the game under control, which was what Kovacic offered.

Authors
Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.