Dhe English football champions Liverpool FC have taken over the top of the table in the Premier League for the time being, despite a disappointing draw. The team of coach Jürgen Klopp came on Saturday after leading at Brighton & Hove Albion only to a 1: 1 (0: 0). The Reds conceded the late equalizer in the third minute of stoppage time through a penalty from Pascal Groß.
Three days after the 2-0 home defeat in the Champions League against Atalanta Bergamo, Liverpool had taken the lead in Brighton through Diogo Jota (60th minute). Although the Reds were superior over long stretches, they struggled offensively.
In addition, two Liverpool goals by Mohamed Salah (34th) and Sadio Mané (84th) were not given after the decision of the video referee due to offside position. In the 20th minute, the Klopp-Elf was also lucky when Neal Maupay shot the first penalty for Brighton to the right of the goal.
On Sunday Tottenham Hotspur could regain the top of the table with a draw at Chelsea. Chelsea, on the other hand, would have to win to finish first. On Sunday, Leicester City could also overtake Liverpool with a home win against Fulham due to the better goal difference.
Klopp had vented his displeasure with the schedule on Saturday afternoon in the run-up to the game. Background: Only last Wednesday Liverpool lost in the Champions League to Atalanta Bergamo (0-2), three days of regeneration time seemed to Klopp to be insufficient.
“If we continue to play on Wednesday and then on Saturday at 12.30 pm (local time, ed.), I’m not sure whether we will end the season with eleven players,” he said, and that this rhythm was a “complete killer “.
Jürgen Klopp showed no remorse after his poker bankruptcy. “I would do it again,” said the team manager of Liverpool FC after the unnecessary 2-0 defeat of his B-Elf in the Champions League against Atalanta Bergamo. Klopp’s serenity has good reasons: He had no other choice – and in the worst case, he could soon face a real final in Dortmund.
Dortmund? Liverpool’s group final on December 9 at Danish champions FC Midtjylland has to be postponed due to the corona situation on site. The Signal Iduna Park, home of BVB coach Klopp between 2008 and 2015, is the replacement location. “It is true that Dortmund for December 9th. was selected as the venue. The game should be played without audience participation, ”confirmed a spokesman for the city of Dortmund on Thursday for the German press agency. First, the WDR reported on it.
The background to the move is a regulation according to which Danes traveling to Great Britain should initially be quarantined for 14 days. Under the condition of following the approved hygiene concept in Dortmund, the city agreed to the wishes of the European Football Union Uefa and Liverpool. “Against this background, the city of Dortmund currently sees no obstacles that this game can be held in Dortmund,” it said. According to WDR, Klopp’s wish was to move to Dortmund.
Klopp made the many changes in his starting XI as a reason for the “deserved” home defeat. “We didn’t have a rhythm today. We’ve made five changes and that causes you a few problems, but we usually get through there, ”said Klopp. “It’s a deserved defeat, I’ve said that a few times. It doesn’t sound good, but it’s the truth. So, congratulations to Atalanta. “
Josip Ilicic had put the Italian club in the lead (60th), DFB national player Robin Gosens scored the second goal (64th). “Unfortunately, they met a second before we could switch, in a room that we knew they wanted to use,” said Klopp. “We couldn’t defend that at the moment, so they scored the first time and the second time in a similar way.” The Italians lost the first leg 5-0.
Liverpool lead their group with nine points ahead of Atalanta with goalscorer Robin Gosens and Ajax Amsterdam (both seven). One point against the Dutch on Tuesday would be enough for a place in the round of 16. “Ajax will be a challenge – one more to all those we meet in this country,” said Klopp: “But I’m not thinking about Ajax now, sorry. We have to go to Brighton in a few hours. “
Because of the Premier League game on the unpopular lunch time on Saturday (1.30 p.m. on Sky), Klopp had spared one or the other star against Bergamo. This also took revenge because Gosens and Co. performed a “masterpiece in a football temple”, as the “Gazzetta dello Sport” raved. Coach Gian Piero Gasperini spoke of the “most beautiful victory in Atalanta’s history”.
Meanwhile, Klopp paid tribute to the late Diego Maradona as one of the greatest football players in history. “I’ve loved football for as long as I can remember, and it was one of the greatest ever,” he said of the death of the Argentine football legend. “We all had these absolute heroes who made football look very simple,” said Klopp. This also included the Brazilian soccer star Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer. They understood the game on a completely different level, and that’s exactly what Maradona did, said Klopp. “He clearly took football to another level.”
But there is also good news for Klopp: Liverpool will be able to play their home games in front of spectators for the first time since March from December. The readmission of fans was announced on Thursday, but does not apply nationwide. According to this, Premier League clubs from the capital London and from Liverpool, where Everton FC is also based, will be allowed to play in front of up to 2,000 supporters again at the end of the second lockdown (December 2). Klopp could welcome fans again on Anfield on December 5th against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Like London, the Merseyside region has been classified as Level 2 on the risk scale by the government. Greater Manchester, with record champions United and top club City, is on “Tier 3” (“very high risk”) and has to continue planning without fans because of the pandemic. At level 1, even 4000 followers are possible. The division of the regions according to risk areas is to be reviewed on December 16.
In addition to the two teams mentioned, Aston Villa (Birmingham), Newcastle United, Leeds United, Leicester City and the Wolves are not yet allowed to admit spectators at home. London is currently home to six top division clubs that are looking forward to their fans: Chelsea FC with the national team trio Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Antonio Rüdiger, Arsenal FC, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Fulham FC.
In England, all four professional leagues have been played in front of empty ranks since the end of the Corona break in June. The Premier League recently stressed that it “welcomed” the government’s plans for the return of fans. At the same time, she is working on models that allow a higher number to limit the financial damage.
The defeat is deserved, but doesn’t make Jürgen Klopp nervous. The coach of Liverpool FC can understand very well why it was not enough in the Champions League against Bergamo. For advancement in the premier class, his path could now lead via Dortmund.
Jürgen Klopp showed no remorse after his cracking poker bankruptcy. “I would do it again,” said the Liverpool team manager after his B-eleven’s unnecessary 2-0 defeat in the Champions League by Atalanta Bergamo. “We didn’t have a rhythm today. We had five changes and that gives you a few problems, but we usually get through there,” analyzed Klopp. “It’s a deserved defeat, I’ve said that a few times. It doesn’t sound good, but it’s the truth. So, congratulations to Atalanta.” Klopp’s serenity has good reasons: He had no other choice, given the injury and heavily stressed players in his squad.
Josip Ilicic had put the Italian club in the lead (60th), DFB national player Robin Gosens scored the second goal (64th). “Unfortunately they met a second before we could switch, in a room that we knew they wanted to use,” said Klopp. “We couldn’t defend that at the moment, so they scored the first time and the second time in a similar way.” The Italians lost the first leg 0-5.
In the worst case, Klopp threatens a final in Dortmund. Dortmund? Liverpool’s group final on December 9 at Danish champions FC Midtjylland may have to be postponed due to the Corona situation on site. Signal Iduna Park, home of Klopp between 2008 and 2015, is the first replacement candidate according to media reports. “As it currently looks, the game can take place in Herning,” said a spokesman for the Danish club a few days ago, but: Because of the major challenges, it cannot be ruled out that an alternative location will be “considered”.
“I’m not thinking about Ajax now, sorry”
Klopp and Co. would have to be quarantined for 14 days after their return from Denmark in accordance with the current British requirements. In the period in question, the calendar for the Reds provides for three league games – postponement excluded. Liverpool lead their group with nine points ahead of Atalanta with goalscorer Robin Gosens and Ajax Amsterdam (both seven). One point against the Dutch on Tuesday (9 p.m. in the ntv.de live ticker) would be enough for a place in the round of 16.
“Ajax will be a challenge – one more to all those we meet in this country,” said Klopp: “But I’m not thinking about Ajax now, sorry. We have to go to Brighton in a few hours.” Because of the Premier League game on Saturday’s unpopular lunch hour (1.30 p.m. / Sky and in the ntv.de live ticker) Klopp had spared one or the other star against Bergamo. This also took revenge because Gosens and Co. performed a “masterpiece in a football temple”, as the “Gazzetta dello Sport” raved about. Coach Gian Piero Gasperini spoke of the “most beautiful victory in Atalanta’s history”.
Jürgen Klopp does not see himself as a motivational artist. “I have no idea how motivation works, honestly. And if motivation were my only strength, then I would not be where I am, ”said the coach of English soccer champions FC Liverpool in an interview with“ ADAC Motorwelt ”. And he admitted, “I can’t make flaming speeches all day. Like everyone else, I have to do a lot of small things. “
He really enjoys doing what he does, said Klopp. And explaining to others why you should do something that you really enjoy doing with a particularly high level of commitment is not particularly difficult for him. He is driven by the thirst for success: “A week later I didn’t feel the Champions League victory myself. It was the same with the Premier League championship. So I’ve been hungry for a long time. “
Dealing with his players is still a central point, it helps “if everyone feels they are taken seriously, everyone feels noticed”. His management style is therefore “strongly people-oriented. I am very interested in making sure that the people around me are okay. Then they can reach their potential more easily. And I basically like to be my players’ friend. Although I realize that I can’t be your best friend. “
For him it is important to maintain modesty. “It helps when a few brain cells work and help you assess the overall situation correctly,” said Klopp: “And at least for that I have a lot of talent. I know: I am nothing special. “
Meanwhile, Klopp criticized the appointments and the TV contracts in the English Premier League. “If someone plays the Champions League on Wednesday, they are not allowed to play again on Saturday at 12.30,” said the German coach in an interview with Sky TV and added: “It’ll happen again next week.” After the premier classes -Party on Wednesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and at DAZN) against Atalanta Bergamo, the English football champions will play in the domestic league on Saturday afternoon at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Klopp advised the TV contracts to be “adapted to reality”. In view of the corona pandemic, the world is “a different place than it was when the contracts were signed”. He demanded: “The television companies have to talk together.” The German coach also spoke out in favor of five substitutions in the Premier League. “We all brought arguments. If people end up saying that we are acting out of self-interest, I obviously can’t change that, because it’s just completely past the truth, ”said Klopp.
Three Germans are currently on everyone’s lips in England: Jürgen Klopp, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz. The headlines could hardly be more different. One is praised, the other sharply criticized. The criticism is particularly out of place, says a football icon from the island.
Many defenders in the Premier League were scared of Emile Heskey. The center forward was beefy, physically robust and punished every mistake. Turning it off for 90 minutes required a lot of work and focus. Only a few players succeeded.
Heskey scored 111 goals in over 500 Premier League games for teams like Leicester City, Liverpool FC and Aston Villa. He stormed in the Champions League, in the Uefa Cup and of course for the “Three Lions”, the English national team. Hardly anyone knows football on the island as well as the now 42-year-old.
As an expert, he works for the TV broadcaster Sky and is an ambassador for the Leicester City women’s team. At t-online he explains why Kai Havertz has had a hard time at Chelsea and what the Bundesliga has ahead of the Premier League.
t-online: Mr. Heskey, you played for Liverpool for many years and you know the club well. Jürgen Klopp has been a trainer there for several years. What is its image like in England?
Emile Heskey: He has a very good reputation. But he’s more than just a successful trainer. Klopp is perceived as an honest and trustworthy person. He’s a good leader and infects the whole club with his vision. He speaks to everyone at the training site and knows every employee by name. Klopp is just a good guy that everyone plays for and wants to do their best.
Emile Heskey played for Liverpool from 2000 to 2004. (Source: Sportsline / imago images)
Klopp has succeeded in doing something that only a few coaches at top clubs can do. He introduced and developed several of his own children to the team.
That is the German philosophy. You can see that in the Bundesliga. There are always young players who are ready to give everything for the club. Klopp gives these talents trust and commitment. In central defense, he is currently forced to use young players. But it gives them the confidence that they can do it. That’s the difference to other coaches. Because in England coaches are usually only ten bad games away from being fired. They prefer not to take any risks and not rely on young talents who may still make mistakes.
Speaking of trainers in England. Two years ago around three-quarters of all Premier League teams had a non-English coach. Now it is “only” about half. How do you see the development with new, young faces like Frank Lampard or Scott Parker?
Here, too, I like to take Germany as a positive example. In Germany, the coaches get time. The boardrooms there understand the dynamics in clubs and teams better. They know why the coach should be given more time. In England you often don’t get the time or the chance, at least not in the top division. We still have young coaches like Harry Kewell or Joey Barton, but they work in the lower leagues.
Scott Parker is one of the youngest Premier League coaches. (Source: PA Images / imago images)
Timo Werner, who has already scored a few goals for Chelsea, is also new to the Premier League. As a longtime Premier League striker, what do you think of his achievements?
I liked that it didn’t take him long to find his way around the Premier League. The game in England is very fast and you have to get used to it. He’s already shown that he’s one of Chelsea’s best players. He is also very versatile. In a storm you can place it on the left, right or in the center. I think he could even play in attacking midfield.
Werner is actually not lacking in speed. In addition, he has greatly improved his goal finish in recent years.
He’s very clever, very quick and knows where the goal is.
Kai Havertz had more difficulties adjusting to the league. How long will it take him to get along with English football?
I think he has problems with the pace of football here. It’s very hectic on the pitch. It’s a back and forth over 90 minutes. Check out Cesc Fabregas, Thierry Henry or Patrick Vieira. It took all of them a year to adapt their fitness and style of play to the Premier League and after that they were among the best players in the league.
Not only Havertz still needs some time, the whole Chelsea team also needs to grow together a little. The club invested a lot of money in new signings over the summer, but the team has the potential to play for the championship in a year or two.
The problem with the Premier League is that nobody has patience here. Fans and clubs want instant success. How old is Kai Havertz? 21 years?
You see, Havertz is still a kid. He should be given the time and opportunity to grow and improve.
Two Germans in London with different starts: Timo Werner (left) and Kai Havertz. (Source: PA Images / imago images)
In order to develop further, many English talents go to the Bundesliga. Is the Bundesliga in England now viewed as a “development league”?
The Bundesliga is a league that understands how to make players and coaches better. The system is geared towards this. In England, on the other hand, these developments are blocked. We have so many good players who are stuck in the U23 teams who don’t get a chance in the first team. We have to ask ourselves how we can be at the top of European football and at the same time develop our own talents into top players. Some of the best talents in the world go to Germany. Not only from England, also from other countries. Haaland and Reyna, for example. When it comes to developing talent, the Bundesliga is the best league in the world.
In Germany, however, there is currently a shortage of German talent at a high level because young players from other countries are given preference.
It’s no different with us. Our best talents go abroad, like Jadon Sancho or Jude Bellingham. The second tier is awarded to the English lower leagues. Take examples like Kyle Walker, Harry Kane, or Dele Alli. Some of them made their professional debut in the 3rd division. That’s exactly why the players go to Germany, Belgium, France or Portugal. They want stakes at a high level and they don’t get them in England. There is just so much money going on in this league that the coaches are under too much pressure to achieve results.
Two Englishmen at BVB: Jadon Sancho (left) and Jude Bellingham. (Source: Kirchner-Media / imago images)
In England there is now also discussion about shortening the Premier League from 20 to 18 teams. What do you make of it?
We are at the point where the leagues with Uefa and Fifa should sit down. There are just too many games in total. The boys are on the pitch every three to four days. At the speed of the modern game, this is simply not feasible. The whole game plan must be revolutionized. But we are very traditional in England, it will be difficult to switch. It must also be said that the big clubs in particular would benefit from a smaller league. Relegation currently means 120 million pounds more in the account. It would be much more difficult for the smaller clubs to remain in the league. Little has changed for the top clubs. Except that they had fewer games.
To conclude: FC Bayern won the Champions League last season and is also a top favorite this year. Which English club will be more dangerous for Bayern: Manchester City or Liverpool FC?
Manchester City. Bayern aren’t the best team in my opinion, that’s Manchester City. If both teams have a good day, City wins. But Bavaria knows what is important. They understand the competition and have shown it for several years. They are more consistent and one of the best teams in Europe.
Jurgen Klopp has long since committed. “If I was asked who should follow me, I would say Stevie. I’ll help him whenever I can, ”said the Liverpool coach a while ago about his possible successor. That Stevie is by the way the longtime LFC captain Steven Gerrard. And he is currently in the process of transforming the starving Rangers from Glasgow into something like a copy of Klopp’s Liverpool and thus almost inevitably positioning himself as the heir to the German who is probably the most popular German on the island.
After 14 matchdays, the Rangers are leading the Scottish Premiership and have already scored an astonishing 37 goals. Alone the most recent 8: 0 against bottom line Hamilton was a football festival – including a pathetic announcement from Gerrard. “Our stadium will be a fortress again. We want to be a terrible opponent and defend our goal with our lives. The opponents have come here for a long time and had a good time. That won’t happen again, ”said the 40-year-old Rangers coach. By the way, archenemy Celtic is supposed to screw up the record of ten championships in a row.
When Gerrard took up his first senior position at the Rangers two years ago, the glorious club from Ibrox was completely out of paint. Although they quickly fought their way back from the fourth division to the first floor after the bankruptcy, they were powerless against Cetic. Gerrard had come to change that – with an approach on and off the pitch not dissimilar to Klopp’s.
From day one, Gerrard made the Rangers a “bullshit-free zone”, as the Daily Mail put it. The Liverpool legend says straight out what doesn’t suit him, but never lacks the necessary respect. Everyone should know where they stand, even if they don’t like to hear it. The training ground has been improved so that the players can spend more time there. The fines have also been tightened. This is how Gerrard managed to transform the heterogeneous squad into a disciplined unit that has now been unbeaten for 20 games.
“Football hasn’t changed. It’s just like 100 years ago. I tell my players what Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez told me in 1999, ”said Gerrard. “Some coaches complicate things. I tell my team very clearly how things are and what I expect from them. “
Word has got around that the Rangers have become something like a mini-LFC. “The system is similar to that of Liverpool, only the players are different. They play the same style away and at home, ”said Jorge Jesus, Benfica Lisbon coach recently. The Portuguese record champions just secured a 3: 3 against Gerrard’s team of the nameless in early November.
Two years ago in Russia it became clear that the big star is the coach. The Rangers had to compete in the playoffs for the Europa League at FC Ufa. Shortly after landing, Gerrard was directed into an interrogation room by an allegedly grim-looking officer. There were a number of Liverpool shirts on the table – and Gerrard was kindly asked to sign them.
Even the biggest superstars are sometimes criticized. Lionel Messi is no exception. He was warned by a referee.
Superstar Lionel Messi was accused of a lack of respect during the Champions League semi-final between FC Barcelona and Liverpool 2019 – by none other than referee Björn Kuipers.
As the Brand from the not yet published documentation Men in the Middle quoted, the Dutchman said to La Pulga: “Messi, come on! Show a little respect and hurry up! It’s always the same with you. Come on now!”
Lionel Messi was taking too much time
The background: Messi apparently took too much time in the half-time break of the semi-final first leg before he settled back on the field.
After the game in question, things looked good for the Blaugrana in the race for the premier class final: Barca beat the Reds 3-0, La Pulga contributed two goals. In the second leg, however, Liverpool turned the whole thing sensationally in his favor (4-0).
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The corona pandemic, the tight schedule, dramatic injury concerns: Liverpool FC is already struggling with the consequences of a historic season. Jürgen Klopp is now in demand like never before.
The point win in the top game against Manchester City cost Liverpool FC dearly. At 1-1 last Sunday, right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, head coach Jürgen Klopp’s next defensive player, was injured. The “Reds” will have to do without their home grown for at least four weeks. Prior to that, defense chief Virgil van Dijk tore a cruciate ligament. The Dutchman is expected to be out for the entire season.
Game plan takes its toll
With a view to the upcoming Nations League games said Klopp about Alexander-Arnold: “He will not be the last and only player that Gareth (Southgate, England coach, editor’s note) will miss with the national team.” The closely-timed schedule of the Corona season – Liverpool is represented in four competitions, as well as the international breaks with three games in nine days – takes its toll. Königstransfer Thiago has only played two games due to a knee injury, the defensive forces Fabinho and Joe Gomez trained and played despite injuries that were not finally cured.
Photo series with 25 pictures
Klopp looks thinner than ever
Despite all the adversities, Liverpool are currently doing well in terms of sport. In the Premier League they are just one point behind leaders Leicester City with 17 points from eight games, and in the Champions League they scored nine out of nine points from three games. But the workload and the tension of constantly being the hunted as the reigning champion and last year’s Champions League winner are not only leaving their mark on the players. Coach Klopp looks thinner than ever. So he rumbled off after the game against Manchester City and complained about the excessive burden on the top clubs. “No team that plays on Wednesday evening, away or in the Champions League, should kick off on Saturday at 12:30 pm,” Klopp told the BBC. He described the Premier League fixtures as “absolute killers” for good football.
Jürgen Klopp: The coach of Liverpool FC has repeatedly been carried away to emotionally charged reactions this season. (Source: PA Images / imago images)
It is all too understandable that Klopp is publicly calling for more relief in this precarious situation. But he mustn’t lose his nerve. Because right now, Liverpool FC needs the best Klopp of all time.
So far Klopp has succeeded very well in separating the sporting from the sporting political. Last but not least, his success proves him right. The former BVB coach is once again convincing in his role as a pearl diver. The best example: Nate Phillips.
Phillips and Firmino point out Klopp’s greatest strengths
Last season, the 23-year-old central defender made 22 games for the then second division club VfB Stuttgart. Everything pointed to a firm commitment from the Englishman, who had previously only played in the Reds’ U23. But the move to the Ländle was broken, Phillips returned to Anfield – and became the great beneficiary of Virgil van Dijk’s injury. Against West Ham United, he defended alongside Joe Gomez and stole the show from the seasoned international to such an extent that he was voted player of the game by TV broadcaster Sky Sports following the narrow 2-1 home win.
🥇 Man of the Match, Nat Phillips PL debut & second senior app for @LFC 9 clearances (6 headed), most in match 6 times possession gained 2 Interceptions 1 chance created 96 touches pic.twitter.com/g9NnH2GpcO
If Phillips succeeds in consistently calling up such outstanding performances, his market value, which is currently 800,000 euros according to “Transfermarkt”, will no longer remain in the six figures – and Klopp will gain a real alternative to the injury-prone Gomez and Joel Matip.
Firmino important part of the team
Klopp’s other great strength is taking current developments into account. For example, he recently switched to his beloved offensive 4-3-3 formation in the league to make room in the starting line-up for the great Diogo Jota. The Portuguese newcomer from Wolverhampton Wanderers has already scored seven goals in eleven appearances this season. The offensive whirlwind, mostly used as a substitute, seemed much more alert and fresher than the overplayed ex-Hoffenheim Roberto Firmino.
Diogo Jota (left): The Portuguese has developed into the biggest internal competitor for Roberto Firmino (right) in recent weeks. (Source: PA Images / imago images)
But instead of missing the Brazilian, who only scored one goal in the current Premier League season, and relegating it to the bench or even the grandstand, Klopp pulled him out of the storm center and gave him a ten – or optionally hanging Top behind top scorer Mo Salah – freedom in a clearly defined space. With this, the coach not only succeeded in relieving Firmino of the great pressure of constantly having to score, but also in particular making him feel that he is an eminently important part of the team that has won the Champions League over the past two years and became English champion.
Klopp must not lose this focus on the essentials, the success and the further development of his team, despite all the quarrels of a football company in a state of emergency. If he continues to not let his media role as a reminder rub off on his harmonious yet tough analytical mind as head coach, Liverpool FC should emerge from this crisis as a great sporting winner.