Don’t make Klopp angry. You wouldn’t like Klopp when he’s angry.
The Liverpool manager was absolutely bloody seething after watching his side batter Everton 1-1 in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.
Throughout the game, Big Sam Allardyce’s Everton faced a torrent of Liverpool attacks. Toffees left-back Cuco Martina was getting turned inside and out every single time he was faced up by the magician that is Mohamed Salah.
It took until the end of the first half for Salah to produce the downright dirty piece of play, the likes of which we have become accustomed to since his arrival at Anfield, to break the deadlock. It was his 18th goal of the season in all competitions, and looked like cementing his position as signing of the season with a bargain price tag of less than £40m.
Liverpool went on to have around 80% of the possession, 23 shots to Everton’s three, 644 passes to Everton’s 99, and 12 corners to Everton’s one. In short, the red tirade very much continued in the second half.
Liverpool’s god-awful finishing left a hell of a lot to be desired, however, with even magic Mo struggling to find his trademark spark.
And they would live to regret those misses. In the 77th minute, Wayne Rooney, playing on the right side of a four-man midfield, pinged a peach of a ball through to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who had spent most of the game more isolated than Tom Hanks in Cast Away. His first touch wasn’t the best, taking the ball down away from goal, but serial shit defender Dejan Lovren (played here by Wilson the volleyball) made enough contact with the Everton man for him to go sprawling and referee Craig Pawson to give the penalty.
Rooney dispatched the controversial spot-kick with customary ease, firing it straight down the middle. As the game neared its conclusion, the red army huffed and puffed but just couldn’t bring the Everton house down, mostly thanks to some more appalling finishing. Their performance was summed up perfectly by Jordan Henderson, who collected the ball in the dying seconds on the edge of the box after some exciting build up play, and with time and space and space and time he blazed it high and wide and high and wide again. It was almost comical.
But things got even more comical when Jurgen Klopp showed up for his post-match media duties with a face like a smacked arse. Understandably, he didn’t seem in much of a mood for talking. So when he asked a journalist interviewing him if he thought it was a penalty (and he did), he laughed in his face and said they should stop the interview because he only wanted to talk to those “with even a tiny understanding of football.”
He then turned green, grew to three times his size and smashed everything in sight.
Ode to Burnley
On Tuesday night, Burnley were 17 games into the season and sat fourth. Let that sink in.
Obviously it’s no Leicester (yet), and a boring Spurs win over Brighton as well as an even more boring draw for Liverpool last night means they’re now level on points and 6th on goal difference (for now). But that’s no reason to take anything away from what is an immense achievement and an incredible season so far.
After their dramatic win at Chelsea on the opening day, Sean Dyche’s side have produced result after result that has seen them climb up and up the table, leapfrogging many of the wilting ‘big clubs’ on their way.
Their status as a Champions League team next season was all but cemented (God we can hope) with a win at home to a stubborn Stoke City on Tuesday night.
It was substitute Ashley Barnes, replacing Jeff Hendrick, who slotted a genuinely sexy finish past Jack Butland in the last minute to win his team a three points that will probably feel like 30.
Yes Manchester City look to be running away with it, and Arsenal are faltering at every possible opportunity, but Burnley represent the refreshing breeze in that catalogue of ordinary Premier League service. They are a genuine force to be reckoned with.
I wonder how Real Madrid would handle a rainy Tuesday night at Turf Moor…
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