Jurgen Klopp a ‘lucky man’ as Liverpool crank up pressure on Leicester City and Chelsea
Jurgen Klopp has been told he is a “lucky man” after his Liverpool side landed a huge blow in the race to qualify for the Champions League.
Klopp’s men beat West Bromwich Albion in dramatic style at the Hawthorns on Sunday to pile the pressure on Leicester City and Chelsea as they battle to secure a top-four finish.
It looked like Liverpool would drop points against the relegated Baggies until goalkeeper Alisson headed a remarkable last-gasp winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
The 2-1 victory leaves the Reds fifth in the table with two league fixtures remaining, one point behind fourth-placed Chelsea and three behind third-placed Leicester.
With Leicester and Chelsea playing each other at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, Liverpool’s fate is now in their own hands.
Liverpool had to come from behind at West Brom after Hal Robson-Kanu put the home side ahead.
There was controversy over the equaliser, scored by Mohamed Salah, after referee Mike Dean awarded the visitors a free kick, rather than a drop ball, in the build-up, after he got in the way of Liverpool midfielder Fabinho.
And in the second half, Albion had a Kyle Bartley goal questionably disallowed and upheld by VAR for offside after Matt Phillips was deemed to be interfering with play.
Klopp dismissed any suggestion that his team had enjoyed the rub of the green in the match.
“I didn’t think for a second that anything went in our direction,” said the German.
“I saw one team playing football all the time and one team getting all the free kicks, so when we get one free kick, if it is not right, I am absolutely fine with that.”
West Brom boss Sam Allardyce, though, had a slightly different take on things.
When he was made aware of Klopp’s comments on the refereeing, Allardyce replied: “You know old Jurgen, he’s always right isn’t he? He always thinks he’s right.
“Perhaps I do the same, perhaps I think I’m right. He’s a lucky man tonight and he knows it.”
On the outcome of the match itself, Allardyce added: “It’s difficult to take because we did exceptionally well against Liverpool by shutting them down and not letting them do what they want, like lots of teams do.
“We didn’t do that, and we shut them down the best possible way we could. I couldn’t have asked for more. As a manager you worry about that relegation might affect the commitment and determination but they were fantastic in terms of application, team spirit and the way they played as a team to shut out Liverpool.
“You saw Liverpool tear Manchester United apart in midweek because they played an open game to try and play around them and through them.
“Liverpool exposed them and scored four goals. There was no way we could allow ourselves to do that.
“Frustrating and getting them moaning and groaning is the right way forward for us as a team – that’s what we did. We got them moaning, groaning and complaining and that tells you just well we were playing and how well we frustrated them.
“We did the right thing in what we did against Liverpool, because a lot of the time they can’t cope with it.”