Klopp praises Liver­pool ‘char­ac­ter’

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Lon­don

– Liver­pool man­ager Juer­gen Klopp praised the char­ac­ter of his Premier League lead­ers af­ter a first-half dou­ble from Vir­gil van Dijk (right) lifted them 11 points clear de­spite the send­ing off of goal­keeper Alis­son Becker in a 2-1 win over Brighton on Satur­day.

The Brazil­ian was dis­missed on 76 min­utes as he raced out of his area to han­dle an at­tempted chip by Brighton sub­sti­tute Le­an­dro Trossard.

Span­ish re­place­ment Adrian came on but his first act was to pick the ball out of the net as Lewis Dunk rolled the free-kick past the Liver­pool wall and an un­pre­pared goal­keeper, set­ting up an anx­ious fi­nale for the home side.

“We brought on a frozen goal­keeper,” said Klopp.

“Ev­ery­body sit­ting here is prob­a­bly not warm yet so imag­ine you go out there in shorts, and re­ally thin shirt and gloves that are not for keep­ing you warm!

“Then some peo­ple let the free­kick hap­pen like that, like a little bit sleepy.

“But we kept fight­ing – Adrian es­pe­cially helped us with two re­ally good saves but with cold feet he couldn’t kick the ball as far as he wanted.”

There was more drama, and anx­i­ety from home sup­port­ers dream­ing of see­ing their team win a first league ti­tle in 30 years, in the clos­ing stages.

Adrian saved well from a fierce Aaron Mooy shot be­fore the Span­ish keeper almost fum­bled a Pas­cal Gross header over his own goal-line.

Still, thanks to Van Dijk, who is in con­tention for the Bal­lon d’Or award in Paris to­day, Liver­pool had a suf­fi­cient cush­ion to sur­vive.

With Liver­pool hav­ing seen Manch­ester City draw 2-2 with

New­cas­tle mo­ments be­fore they kicked off at An­field, it took 18 min­utes for them to take a de­served lead af­ter Gross fouled Alex Oxlade-Chamberlai­n out­side the Brighton area.

Trent Alexan­der-Arnold floated in the free-kick and Van Dijk rose above Adam Web­ster to head in his sec­ond goal of the sea­son and first since the open­ing day.

It did not take as long for Van Dijk to wait for his third – six min­utes to be pre­cise – as Brighton failed to learn from con­ced­ing the opener and al­lowed the same com­bi­na­tion to dou­ble the lead. – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.