It wouldn’t be a surprise if Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had differing opinions on the offside call that denied the Cottagers a goal and allowed Liverpool a quick restart goal against the celebrating visitors at Anfield on Sunday.
[ RECAP: Liverpool 2-0 Fulham ]
But Klopp’s reaction to the offside call against Aleksandar Mitrovic wasn’t too strong, and Jokanovic was raging after the match.
The Fulham manager labeled the call “disrespectful” to Fulham and its supporters. From The Liverpool Echo:
“The damage is done,” Jokanovic said. “I don’t want to say Liverpool didn’t deserve to win the game. We did not defend well against the counter-attack but it shouldn’t have happened. It is an absurd situation.”
The margin was very thin, with Mitrovic perhaps a hair off. And Alisson Becker quickly pulled the ball out of the goal and got it moving (or kept it moving, as NBC studio analyst Kyle Martino pointed out that it never stopped).
Thirteen seconds later, Mohamed Salah had it in the back of the Fulham net.
Klopp was nonchalant about the call, ironic given the froth expected should the call have gone against him. Such is football.
“I saw the Fulham goal once,” Klopp said. “Was it offside? Against Arsenal we scored a clearer goal and didn’t get it. We cannot change it. The reaction was brilliant from us.”
It’s the quick restart that should probably be under more scrutiny than the offside call, as there aren’t too many offside restarts played that quickly at any spot on the field (let alone the matter of whether the ball moved).
Liverpool will be atop the Premier League table should Chelsea fail to beat Everton and Manchester City lose to United.
Jurgen Klopp has a way with words, and that way was not lost en route to Serbia.
[ RECAP: Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Liverpool ]
The Liverpool manager knows his team was second best in a 2-0 loss at Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, missing a number of chances to score in the loss and out-attempting Red Star 23-10.
In fact, how Klopp described Liverpool on the day might be a good way to sum up chance creator Mohamed Salah‘s lack of finishing magic this year (because the chances sure are there).
Klopp also said he had more reasons for their loss than he had fingers and toes, and said it all started with set pieces. From the BBC:
“They had too many set pieces that’s true and with one of them they scored. Then more or less straight away they score the second one and then the atmosphere was completely different, you could feel it.
“They were on their bikes and we had to deal with the situation. It is not what we wanted and we will go for the other two games 100 per cent. We all have to deal with it now.”
The Reds will go beneath PSG or Napoli should one of them win their match in Italy, but will still lead the group if the two draw.
Liverpool travels to PSG on Nov. 28 and is home to Napoli on Dec. 11.
Everyone who’s watched more than 15 minutes each of Manchester City and Liverpool this season can see the pair of Premier League giants are headed for a season-long title race.
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Everyone sees it coming from a mile away, including Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who this week went so far as to call this 2018-19 PL season “the most exciting season for years” — quotes from the Guardian:
“We play City twice. The maximum we can lose against them is three points in each of these games, even though I understand why it sometimes feels like six. If we would win all the other games then it’s pretty likely we would finish ahead of City but it doesn’t make sense to think like that because it puts you in a situation where you feel you are not in charge.
“You react on what they do. If they play on Friday and we play on Sunday then for two days you think about the pressure being more on us. But then you miss Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal or United.
“It is like it is, and hopefully it stays like this until the end of the season. It is probably the most exciting season for years. Last year a few teams played really good seasons but there was no chance to catch City because, by October-November, the gap was already that big. I remember when we played City last season, when we lost there 5-0, that was the day that City really clicked. It looked good for them before that but in that game they got all the confidence and we got the opposite and it led to a 25-point gap or whatever. We are really focused on us and that’s the only way I know it will work.”
On one side, you’ve got the defending PL champions who won the title last season by the widest-ever margin; arguably the greatest team in PL history. On the other side, you’ve got a Champions League finalist from six months ago; a side quickly ascending to the top of the world.
There stands, of course, that massive obstacle in the shape of Pep Guardiola‘s side in Liverpool’s way. The next 28 games, which will be played out over the course of seven months, are absolutely, positively, unquestionably not to be missed.
Cardiff City only had one moment of hope during a long Saturday at Liverpool, and that moment may have just awakened the hosts at Anfield.
Trailing 2-0, the Bluebirds got a goal from Callum Paterson to pull within one of the favored Reds on a day that Liverpool out shot Cardiff 19-2.
[ RECAP: Liverpool 4-1 Cardiff ]
The only shot on that reached Liverpool backstop Alisson Becker.
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock was starting to think about a comeback.
“Anfield is an intimidating place,” Warnock said. “Our fans were fantastic, they know we are up against it. The lads gave everything. It was so quiet when Paterson scored, you had to dream of a comeback. I think it is my first goal here as a manager.”
However, the goal seemed to snap the Reds attack into life as Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri scored down the stretch.
Liverpool won 4-1 on the day to go atop the Premier League table for two days at a minimum. Man City can join them on 26 points with a win over Spurs on Monday. Here’s Klopp, via the BBC:
“90 minutes in the creative mood costs you. The boys don’t like it, I don’t like it, but the goal helped because at 2-1 Cardiff started believing and we used the space for nice goals. Happy because it is difficult, playing Wednesday and Saturday, we are through it with maximum points. That is good.”
Back to Warnock, he’s got thoughts on whether the Reds can win the Premier League.
“Liverpool have got more chance of winning the Champions League,” Warnock offered. “I think Manchester City will be too strong for them in the league but this could be their year in the Champions League.”
Several familiar Premier League names, two from Merseyside, have contributed big donations to the GoFundMe page aimed at helping injured Liverpool supporter Sean Cox.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Everton fullback Seamus Coleman, and longtime Hull City man David Meyler (now at Reading) each have reportedly donated approximately $5700 to help Cox, who was attacked by AS Roma fans before a UEFA Champions League match at Anfield.
Coleman and Meyler play internationally for the Republic of Ireland, where Cox lives.
[ PL PREVIEW: Liverpool vs. Cardiff City ]
Cox’s wife Martina explained the long road to recovery for the Liverpool fan.
“He’s not sitting up. He can move himself up a little bit, but to put him into a wheelchair they have to use a hoist so that’ll tell you where he’s at,” said Martina.
There was also an anonymous $5,700 (5000 Euros) donation made today.
One of the Roma supporters was sentenced to three years in jail for his role in the attack.
Klopp dedicated the Reds’ run to the Champions League Final to Cox, and Roma wore shirts bearing his name in training.