Klopp slams Jose over ‘long ball’ tactics
LIVERPOOL: Juergen Klopp feels Liverpool were unlucky to come away with a point from Sunday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United, the manager claiming the home side were saved by “long ball” tactics.
The visitors led courtesy a firsthalf penalty from James Milner and with United struggling to breakdown a resolute Liverpool defence, Jose Mourinho brought on Marouane Fellaini and opted for a more direct route to goal.
The change in tactics worked as United sprayed a barrage of long balls into Liverpool’s penalty area in the final 10 minutes and finally scored the equaliser late on as Zlatan Ibrahimovic pounced on a Antonio Valencia cross.
“We were the better side. They play long balls in a wild game. We played the better football and had the better plan,” Klopp said.
“In the end period of the game when United started playing long balls after 80 minutes high intense football it is really hard,” Klopp added.
“Usually you can accept a draw at Manchester United but I think after the entire 98 minutes we could have deserved a win.”
The draw put Liverpool third in the league, seven points behind Chelsea after 21 games, while sixth-placed United lost ground in the battle for the Champions League qualifying spots.
United next travel to Stoke City for a league game on Saturday, while Liverpool make the trip to face fourth-tier side Plymouth Argyle in an FA Cup third round replay tomorrow.
“I had – and I say had because I haven’t really spoken to him for the last two or three weeks – a great relationship with him, but I don’t know his reasons,” Noble added.
“I am not going to comment on why he wanted to leave but I do know that if someone doesn’t want to play for the team then they are better off not even playing.”
Noble also heaped praised on Bilic for handling the difficult situation in the right manner.
“I thought the manager was right in what he did because it is hard. You have to win games and if you have your best player who doesn’t want to play for you then obviously he has had to do something about it,” the 29-year-old said. – Reuters