Klopp slams defending, “very quiet” Anfield in Swansea defeat

Leave a comment

Jurgen Klopp was not a happy man after Liverpool lost 3-2 to Swansea City at Anfield on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Ahead of the clash against the Premier League strugglers, Klopp asked for the home support create an intense atmosphere and commented that 17 cup finals awaited his side between now and the end of the season as they challenge for the PL title. 

That didn’t happen.

Speaking after the game Klopp couldn’t hide his disappointment that the fans didn’t get behind their team and was frustrated with the defeat which means they could slip 10 points behind leaders Chelsea who play on Sunday.

“It was very, very quiet today,” Klopp said. “There is a lot of frustration and disappointment. You could hear in the stadium it wasn’t the most entertaining in the first half. Maybe other games we deserved more to lose. This was a big opportunity for us – (we) gave them the opportunity to win. It’s frustrating.”

Anfield has become a fortress under Klopp with the loss to Swansea marking Liverpool’s first defeat at home in 25 games in all competitions. Their last Premier League defeat came almost a year to the day as Wayne Rooney scored and Manchester United beat them 1-0 in January 2016.

Against Swansea Liverpool’s defending, once again, was their downfall as they’ve now conceded 27 goals in the Premier League. That’s more than any other team in the top seven and even though they’ve scored the most goals in the PL (50) Klopp understands they have to stop making defensive mistakes. Joel Matip can expect a recall to central defense in the coming days.

“I don’t want to speak about the mistakes for the header but we should have avoided the pass and the cross. Our reaction was very good [to the two goals], but nearly everything was wrong in the third goal,” Klopp added. “The defending around all three goals today was not good enough – 100 per cent. It’s our mistake – nobody else but ours. We have to show a reaction now.”

Liverpool now have yet another busy week coming up as they face Southampton at Anfield on Wednesday in the second leg of their EFL Cup semifinal with the Reds trailing 1-0 from the first leg. They then host Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth round next Saturday.

Klopp will again ask to hear the famous “Anfield roar” from the home fans in both of those games but after just one win in six games in all competitions to open up 2017, can you blame Liverpool’s supporters for being a little timid?

Honduras holds Costa Rica 1-1

AP Photo/Moises Castillo
Leave a comment

Honduras did the United States a favor by taking a point from visiting Costa Rica in Tuesday’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula.

Anthony Lozano pushed a 35th minute chance past an indecisive Keylor Navas, as Los Catrachos set the stage for a hopeful three points.

[ STREAM: T&T-Mexico, Panama-USMNT ]

Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston’s haphazard defending helped allow the goal, but he scored off a late Costa Rica corner kick to ensure Costa Rica will finish the international break in second place.

With four points, Honduras moves ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and the United States before both sides play Tuesday.

Costa Rica beat the U.S. 4-0 in 2016, while the Yanks battered Honduras 6-0 on Friday.

WATCH: Video Assistant calls back Griezmann goal

Leave a comment

France and Spain used the Video Assistant Referee program on Tuesday in a friendly, and the French likely rue that decision.

Antoine Griezmann had an incorrectly allowed goal reverse for offside, while Gerard Deulofeu saw an initially ruled offside goal allowed upon review in Spain’s 2-0 win over France.

[ MORE: Bolivia stuns Messi-less Argentina ]

Here’s an example, as Griezmann’s barely offside goal was overturned in less than a minute (Both calls took less than a minute to decide):

At the risk of sounding like a caveman, I really don’t like these razor thin offside calls being subject to review.

When you consider the improbability of timing the moment of contact with the ball — how many times have you seen a freeze frame conveniently used to make a case? — it just seems to mess with the spirit of sport.

What do you think?

Bolivia stuns Messi-less Argentina in World Cup qualifying

AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano
Leave a comment

Argentina took steps backward Tuesday in its pursuit of a 2018 World Cup berth, on and off the field.

It started as Lionel Messi was suspended four matches for verbally abusing a referee in Argentina’s Friday win over Chile.

Then La Albiceleste made another move in reverse with a shocking 2-0 loss to Bolivia in La Paz. Argentina started Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala, and Ezequiel Lavezzi on the bench in what many presumed to be an easy win.

[ MORE: Three keys for USA v Panama ] 

Juan Carlos Arce and Marcelo Martins scored as ninth-place La Verde picked up its third win of qualifying with a win over powerful Argentina.

The bad news kept coming for Argentina (and Everton), as Ramiro Funes Mori left the match in the 36th minute with injury.

Bolivia will finish the international break at least 10 points back of the playoff spot, while Argentina could finish as low as that fifth-place spot.

STREAM: CONCACAF tripleheader concludes with USMNT

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
Leave a comment

CONCACAF’s bottom three sides in the Hex standings look to make the table incredibly tight as World Cup qualifying finds three-straight matches on the docket beginning at 5 p.m. EDT.

Honduras vs. Costa Rica

Los Catrachos were creamed 6-0 by the U.S. on Friday, and return home hoping a wounded Costa Rica remains vulnerable. Honduras is dead last on goal differential, but three points would be huge and put them level with Los Ticos. Costa Rica won its first two matches before falling to Mexico on Friday.

Trinidad and Tobago vs. Mexico

El Tri has two wins and a draw from their first three Hex matches, and will be without Rafa Marquez on Tuesday. A win guarantees Mexico the top spot heading into the next round of matches in June. The Soca Warriors surprised some with their 1-0 win over visiting Panama on Tuesday. Mexico is a different class.

Panama vs. USMNT

Despite its miserable start, the U.S. can find itself as high as second with a win and help from Honduras. The injuries remain plenty for the Yanks, who are without Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood, Sebastian Lletget, and John Brooks. Panama has allowed just a single goal through three Hex matches, but also has only managed one.