15 July 2024


Jurgen Klopp has just had his suspicions about Liverpool confirmed after VAR controversy

Jurgen Klopp will be delighted with what he has seen from his Liverpool squad in the aftermath of their controversial defeat to Tottenham

Had Liverpool beaten Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, they would have gone top of the Premier League table.


Instead, they were left to curse a number of questionable officiating decisions, including the incorrect disallowing of a Luis Diaz goal for offside, as, having also been issued two red cards, the nine-man Reds’ 19-game unbeaten run, dating back to the start of April, came to an unsavoury end.


Jurgen Klopp’s side kick-started such a run with an uninspiring 0-0 draw away at Chelsea, as a much-changed side was named following a heavy 4-1 defeat away at Man City. But in the most disappointing of campaigns, it was Liverpool’s next outing against Arsenal that truly initiated their recovery.


Trailing 2-0 at Anfield after just 28 minutes, a first half altercation between Granit Xhaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold riled the home crowd into life as the Reds, battered and bruised from months of on-pitch turmoil, suddenly rediscovered their inner fighting spirit.

The Switzerland international barged into the back of Alexander-Arnold with his arm high in front of the Kop, after the defender had already passed the ball back to Alisson Becker. The Liverpool man then retaliated by pushing Xhaka in the back before the two squared up as the previously-despondent crowd started to jeer.


Now spurred on by the electric home support, Mohamed Salah would halve the deficit shortly before the break, before Alexander-Arnold, who had been reinvented as an inverted full-back for the first time, set up Roberto Firmino’s late equaliser in the dying embers of the match.


“I think a little bit of fire in a game like that there’s nothing wrong with it,” Alexander-Arnold said of the altercation after the game. “He nudged me off the ball so it’s a natural reaction to do it back. It got the crowd going.”


Although far from a perfect performance, it was that spark that set the Reds on their road to recovery. Finishing last season with an 11-game unbeaten run, they might have still failed to qualify for the Champions League, but they at least did enough to secure a fifth place finish and Europa League qualification against the odds.


Now, six months on and having seen that impressive unbeaten run ended, a red rag has been shown to the Liverpool bull once again courtesy of the manner of their defeat to Tottenham.


With every decision that went against them in the capital, from questionable red and yellow cards, to the disallowed goal and a penalty shout being waved away, Klopp’s squad will have been more and more riled up in the capital, before seeing a hard-fought point cruelly snatched from their grasp. Imagine if such incidents had taken place in front of a roaring Anfield.


But rather than be downbeat at the heartbreaking loss, it will have unified the Liverpool camp even more and only enhanced the ‘never say die, us against the world’ mentality that can be transformed into victory. And their connection with their travelling fans is as strong as ever.


Edging closer to the final whistle, both Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexander-Arnold beat their chests and celebrated in the direction of the away fans when Wataru Endo won a free-kick in the final third after being caught in the face by Yves Bissouma.


This itself prompted a loud cheer from the travelling fans, with it admirable just how resilient Liverpool were in North London and how close they came to actually clinching a point despite the most frustrating of adversities.



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