Post by Football News on Apr 21, 2018 20:27:41 GMT
West Brom 2-2 Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp bemoans ‘dangerous’ pitch after West Brom stun Liverpool
It was not the script that Jürgen Klopp had in mind in advance of a critical week and the Liverpool manager was unable to conceal his anger and frustration afterwards as he described West Bromwich Albion’s comeback as useless in the context of their survival hopes and railed against the dry state of the pitch.
Klopp’s complaints about Stuart Attwell’s poor refereeing were far more legitimate given that Liverpool were denied a clear penalty at the start of the second half and should have been playing against 10 men after Ahmed Hegazi punched Danny Ings in the stomach, yet it was his remarks about Albion’s predicament and the playing surface that caused a stir.
In fairness to Klopp, he was honest enough to admit he would have said nothing about the pitch if Liverpool had won a game that was firmly within their grasp when Mohamed Salah registered his 31st league goal of the season – equalling the record for a 38-game season held by Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suárez – to double their lead 18 minutes from time.
Albion, however, have been a totally different proposition since Darren Moore took over from Alan Pardew and they showed tremendous spirit to score from two set pieces in the last 12 minutes, through Jake Livermore and Salomón Rondón, to salvage a point and leave Klopp, whose team face Roma in the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday, bitterly upset.
After claiming the pitch became “drier and drier, and it is not in favour or an advantage for the football-playing side”, Klopp lamented Attwell’s failure to point to the penalty spot after Ings was barged over by Craig Dawson and the way that Hegazi escaped punishment for his punch on the striker.
“You see it, I see it, but that’s not important,” Klopp said. “It is only important what three or four gentleman with a whistle say. So we cannot change it. I think if you are the better team, you should win. We are the better team, we didn’t win.
“I don’t feel that point will help West Brom massively. It feels like a complete waste of points; they don’t need it. We would have needed it. They are all happy now, we are not happy. We stay in the league, they don’t stay in the league. It’s kind of a strange situation.
“I am a big football fan. You have to do everything to create the best circumstances for all the boys to deliver. You let the home team decide if they water the pitch or not. It’s not only football, it’s also dangerous for injuries if the pitch is really dry. To be 100%, I would have said nothing about that probably if we had won. But it’s all what you see during the game.”
Albion may well be heading for the Championship – they are eight points adrift of safety with three matches remaining – yet their supporters’ reaction at the final whistle suggested that they viewed the fifth point gained from three games under Moore as anything but futile.
The home team were behind as early as the fourth minute, when Ings, whose introduction was one of five changes that Klopp made to his team, swept home from close range after Georginio Wijnaldum teed him up from Sadio Mané’s cross. It was Ings’s first goal since October 2015.
Liverpool’s second was another of those trademark finishes from Salah, who coolly lifted the ball over Ben Foster after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had set him free.
Albion, though, were far from finished. Livermore hooked home from six yards and then Liverpool pressed the self-destruct button. Joe Gomez carelessly gave away possession in the lead-up to the free-kick that Chris Brunt expertly delivered for Rondón to head in at the near post.
Asked about the condition of the pitch, Moore said: “It wasn’t a ploy. It was a hot day.”