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
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