After an exhausting yet thrilling game night, Liverpool and Tottenham left the stadium with a frustrating draw. This game was a very decisive one for the Reds — if they had won, they would have been levelled with defenders of the title, Manchester City, who are currently on top of the table with 44 points. Liverpool are not far behind with 41 points, however, the Reds, along with manager Jurgen Klopp, are not satisfied with the results.
Given the unpredictability across Britain at the moment due to the rising COVID-19 cases, the club is not completely certain it will be able to be present for fixtures next week. The Premier League is determined to continue, but it will be out of their hands if the situation worsens. Unfortunately, with the current circumstances, the postponing of more Premier League games seem to be inevitable.
The COVID-19 situation did not only affect the predictability of the games but also Liverpool’s lineup. Many star players, including Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, and Curtis Jones, were missing as they tested positive for COVID recently. Captain Jordan Henderson also did not make an appearance since he was sent home with a cold. With the lack of these key players, Liverpool did not seem like their usual selves.
The midfield seemed fragmented and not in sync. Nineteen-year-old Tyler Morton made his debut, but unfortunately, things did not go according to plan. Morton was put in difficult situations, and the chemistry between him and his teammates was non-existent, to say the least. Milner and Naby Keita were underwhelming as most of their passes were under or over-hit.
Virgil van Dijk’s absence at the heart of their defence was heavily felt, especially in front of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who delivered an outstanding performance.
For Liverpool, Trent Alexander-Arnold — one of the Premier League’s greatest players according to Sportingbet, and Andy Robertson were the stars of the show. Robertson managed to orchestrate the opener for Jota, who shot it straight into the back of the net. The star right-back also scored a goal of his own, assisted by Trent and would have ended up man of the match had it not been for the red card at the end of the game.
Were referee Paul Tierney’s decisions justified?
There is much speculation regarding Tierney’s and VAR’s decisions that all seemed to be against Liverpool, even in situations where they didn’t seem justified.
Harry Kane’s forceful challenge on Andy Robertson was extremely dangerous, and Kane could’ve caused some critical damage had Robertson not lifted his foot just in time. Tierney did not seem to think much of it and showed Kane a yellow. VAR was expected to change it to red, and rightly so, but England’s captain managed to leave unscathed.
Next, Chris Cavanagh failed to award a penalty kick for Emerson Royal’s deliberate push on Diogo Jota inside the penalty area.
Finally, the cherry on top for Liverpool, and one that sealed their fate for the night, was sending off Robertson in the second half. His tackle was nowhere near as bad as Kane’s, but he was clearly not treated with the same mercy. Robertson will now miss the next three matches and appear on January 2nd just in time for Chelsea.
Jurgen Klopp momentarily lost control of his anger and seemed to lash out at Paul Tierney, given his seemingly biased decisions.
He confronted the official saying: “I have no problems with any referees. Only you,” as he appeared to lament his lack of playing experience when it came to making key decisions.
Speaking to SkySports post-match, Klopp had a lot to say on the events that transpired.
“Yes, definitely [Kane should have been shown a red card]. We can give Robbo a red card, it’s not the smartest challenge of his life, that’s how it is. But that’s [Kane on Robertson] definitely a red card, no doubt about that.
“People will say his leg is in the air, but that’s pure coincidence. Harry cannot judge that, and if Robbo’s leg is on the ground, then it’s a broken leg, no doubt about that.”
Speaking on the Jota incident: “Mr Tierney told me he thinks Diogo stops on purpose because he wants the foul. First and foremost, if you want to shoot, you have to stop because he cannot run and shoot in the same moment.
“It will always be helpful if people have played football themselves in the past.
“It’s fine, the draw is okay. We are not that crazy that we think we can’t draw at Tottenham. But these situations are crucial; they are decisive.”
He added: “I really have no idea what his [Tierney] problem is with me. Honestly, I have no idea.
“You just need an objective ref who sees the situations and trusts them. He told me that he thinks he [Jota] stops on purpose. That’s incredible.
“He had the best spot on the pitch; he was eight yards away and doesn’t give it. We have to ask him, what’s his problem.”
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