Klopp sympathetic over ‘social pressure’ on Salah

Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp with Liverpool’s midfielder Mohamed Salah. (File/AFP)
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Updated 21 November 2020

Klopp sympathetic over ‘social pressure’ on Salah

  • Jurgen Klopp’s squad ravaged by injury as Premier League returns after the international break

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp insisted his players have been “incredibly disciplined” with coronavirus restrictions despite Mohamed Salah testing positive after attending his brother’s wedding in Egypt.
Salah was pictured dancing at the celebration without a mask on while back in his homeland during the international break.
Klopp confirmed Liverpool’s top scorer this season is asymptomatic and could return to England on Friday, but Salah will miss Sunday’s Premier League clash against Leicester.
“He is probably back today, that’s what I’ve heard. We are in close contact with him all of the time,” said Klopp.
“At the moment he is in a good place, he feels well, no symptoms, that’s all fine.”
Klopp said he had to resist the temptation to attend a birthday party when home in Germany over the summer and understands why Salah had to attend the wedding.
“In other countries, in other situations, there is more social pressure on you and a brother’s wedding is a very special moment,” he added.
“What I can say about my players is they are incredibly disciplined. Football players in general were incredibly disciplined.
“There were some cases of course, but they really know about the situation.”
Salah’s absence is just the latest blow for Klopp as he tries to patch together a team to face top-of-the-table Leicester.
Liverpool’s defense has been decimated by injury with center-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez expected to miss the rest of the season with serious knee injuries.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will be out for another two weeks due to a calf problem, while captain Jordan Henderson will also miss Sunday’s clash due to a muscle problem.
“There is no season when you have no problem with injuries,” said Klopp.
“In our situation it is slightly different where a lot of players in the same position get injured and seriously injured, that makes it tricky, but no one feels any kind of self-pity or feels sorry for ourselves.
“As long as we have 11 players available we will fight for the three points and we will.
“We have the situation we have. We don’t like it because it’s really hard for the boys that have the injuries but the rest is about working on solutions.
“Whoever deals best with the problems in front of them has the chance to be really successful.”


Liverpool frustrated by VAR as Brighton snatch late equalizer

Updated 42 min 3 sec ago

Liverpool frustrated by VAR as Brighton snatch late equalizer

  • Jurgen Klopp's side suffer late blow as Pascal Gross coolly converts late penalty

BRIGHTON: Jurgen Klopp launched into a furious tirade about Liverpool’s fixture schedule after Pascal Gross’s controversial late penalty rescued a dramatic 1-1 draw for Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Klopp’s side took the lead through Diogo Jota’s second half strike after Brighton’s Neal Maupay had missed a penalty in the first half.

But Liverpool were stunned in stoppage time when Andrew Robertson’s challenge on Danny Welbeck was ruled a penalty after Stuart Attwell used VAR to overturn his initial decision.

Gross converted from the spot, leaving Klopp sarcastically applauding the officials at the end of a disappointing week for Liverpool after their shock Champions League defeat at home to Atalanta.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson claimed Welbeck told him it was not a penalty, but Klopp would not take the bait when asked if he disagreed with the decision.

“You try to create again, on my cost, a headline, because that’s how it is. If I say now it was not ... the ref whistled it,” Klopp said in a fractious exchange with a BT Sport interviewer.

“Don’t look like this, you try, always, all the time. Today I say it was a penalty, you are not happy with that answer, so keep your answers to yourself.”

Liverpool went back to the top of the table as a result of their draw, but the champions are just one point ahead of previous leaders Tottenham.

Tottenham would regain pole position if they avoid defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, while the Blues will go top if they win the London derby.

It was one of those days for Liverpool, who also saw goals correctly disallowed by VAR for offside against Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

There was more bad news for injury-ravaged Liverpool as James Milner was forced off in the second half.

Milner’s injury provoked Klopp’s rant during his post-match interview as he repeated his recent complaints about Liverpool featuring in the early Saturday match after playing in the Champions League just three days earlier.

Asked if Milner had a hamstring problem, Klopp took aim at television schedulers and Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder, who has criticized his counterpart over his desire to allow five substitutions instead of the current three.

“Yeah, congratulations. You work for them yeah? Hamstring, surprise, and Brighton had injuries but ask Chris Wilder how we can avoid that,” Klopp said.

“I don’t know how often I have to say it, you picked the 12:30, not you personally, but you did it, us on 12:30, between now and December and New Year, one more Wednesday.

“I’ve not had a go at the broadcaster, I just say how it is. After Wednesday, Saturday 12:30 is really dangerous for the players.

“When we had a talk between managers, a week ago, it was 55, if not 60 (percent) for five subs. Since then nothing happened.

“Chris Wilder or whoever says constantly that I am selfish. I think all the things that shows is that he’s selfish.

“I was in a similar situation when I worked at Mainz and it was all about staying in the league, but they (Sheffield United) have three subs and one point if I am right.”

It was a tough day for Klopp, who saw Aaron Connolly tripped by Neco Williams in the 20th minute.

Maupay stepped up to take the spot kick, but his side-foot effort went wide despite Alisson Becker diving the wrong way.

In the 60th minute, Robertson found Salah and his pass teed up Jota to drill into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Liverpool were seconds away from three points when Robertson went to clear in his own area as Welbeck closed in.

Robertson’s foot made contact with Welbeck, but there were few appeals from Brighton before Attwell awarded a contentious penalty after consulting the pitchside monitor.

With Maupay off the pitch, Gross took this one and fired down the middle to salvage an unexpected point.