Liverpool and Manchester City’s first-half thriller yielded to a second-half slog and a 1-1 draw, leaving managers Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola to join the chorus requesting changes including five subs for the 2020-21 Premier League season.
The Premier League allowed five subs per game for Project Restart but did not join a number of leagues in greenlighting the idea for the congested new season.
[ MORE: Match recap ]
Guardiola said it’s one of the things he discussed with Klopp on the sidelines in light of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury.
“We want five substitutions,” Guardiola said on NBCSN after the match. “An international player, Alexander-Arnold is injured. All around the world, five substitutions but here we think we’re special. I will demand if the people allow my voice to have five substitutions. If not, it’s difficult to sustain it.”
Earlier this weekend, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer complained about kickoff times after his side beat Everton at the weekend, and Klopp backed his rival.
“If you want to have good football then give the boys a few hours more,” Klopp said via the BBC. “We had after the triple header in the international break we played 12:30 (7:30 am ET). The boys played Wednesday night in Peru, that is not possible. Somebody has to start thinking.”
The big boys are going to try and get their way in order to use superior depth during this congested European schedule.
Here’s an idea, though: What if two of the subs were limited to academy players? That would somewhat level the playing field for lower PL sides who don’t have or use resources like the European regulars.
Here’s your five subs, Jurgen (or Pep, or Frank, or Ole, etc). Put some kids out there.
Klopp and Guardiola were also very proud of the football and tactics on display in the 1-1 scrap.
“Super football game to be honest,” Klopp said. “Two top teams ready for a massive fight, energy levels of both teams incredible. You could see after 10-15 mins everybody breathing (hard). I’m really happy. It was City’s lowest number of chances against us.”
Guardiola admitted some philosophical changes once it was level late.
“When you cannot win in 80-85 minutes, you cannot lose it,” he said. “When you play against a contender like Liverpool, you have to try and win but you cannot lose. We know each other quite well.”