Liver­pool’s Gomez faces six weeks out with a bro­ken leg

Right-back to miss run of im­por­tant fix­tures Dy­che la­bels Stur­ridge a cheat after Klopp blast

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Jim White

Liver­pool’s hopes of win­ning sil­ver­ware this sea­son have suf­fered a ma­jor set­back with the news that right-back Joe Gomez broke his left leg dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s 3-1 Premier League vic­tory at Burn­ley and could be side­lined for up to six weeks.

The Eng­land in­ter­na­tional, who has been a key fig­ure in Liver­pool’s de­fence this sea­son, had to leave the field after just 23 min­utes after be­ing first up­ended by Ash­ley West­wood, then bun­dled into the ad­ver­tis­ing hoard­ings by a ro­bust slid­ing chal­lenge from Ben Mee. Both tack­les were greeted by a huge roar of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from the home sup­port­ers, but Liver­pool man­ager Ju­r­gen Klopp was left rag­ing and said ref­eree Stu­art At­twell should have given his play­ers more pro­tec­tion.

“I said to the ref, ‘Please, tell them you can­not do that’,” said Klopp. “The crowd love it, yes, but the play­ers they are not in con­trol. Some­body needs to tell them not to do it from six or seven yards. I think the ref­eree has to make sure that things like this don’t hap­pen con­stantly. It’s not how it should be. Let’s play foot­ball.”

Klopp’s worst fears over the in­jury were con­firmed by a scan yes­ter­day. In a state­ment, the club said: “Liver­pool can con­firm Joe Gomez sus­tained a frac­ture to the lower left leg. Ini­tial in­di­ca­tions sug­gest the 21-year-old is fac­ing a spell of up to six weeks out of ac­tion, though this is de­pen­dent on how his treat­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grammes progress.”

A six-week ab­sence would keep Gomez out un­til mid-jan­uary. Liver­pool, who are two points be­hind Premier League lead­ers Manch­ester City and bat­tling to reach the knock­out stages of the Cham­pi­ons League, play nine games be­fore then.

Klopp’s op­po­site num­ber Sean Dy­che, how­ever, claimed to have been left baf­fled by the Ger­man’s anger and ac­cused Liver­pool striker Daniel Stur­ridge of cheat­ing by div­ing. He also in­sisted that the tally of only one yel­low card is­sued to any of his play­ers sug­gested there was noth­ing il­le­gal in the tack­les.

“I was a bit con­fused,” Dy­che said. “There were some ex­cel­lent tack­les. The only one that was ques­tion­able was Bardo’s [Phil Bard­s­ley, who was pe­nalised with a free-kick after a sharp chal­lenge on James Mil­ner]. Ben Mee’s was a fan­tas­tic tackle and I think Gomez re­alised that.

“It’s funny, he [Klopp] didn’t ref­er­ence Daniel Stur­ridge’s cheat­ing. I just can’t be­lieve Ju­r­gen Klopp and Liver­pool fans – and I don’t be­lieve they do – would want cheat­ing in the game and sac­ri­fice good, hon­est chal­lenges.”

Blow: Joe Gomez ar­rives at hospi­tal yes­ter­day for a scan on his left leg

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