Liverpool missed an opportunity to get a leg up on one of their challengers for the league title, having to settle for a 1-1 draw with Chelsea despite the Londoners playing the second half down to 10 men.
Right back Reece James was judged to have intentionally stopped Sadio Mané’s goalbound shot with his hand, with referee Anthony Taylor sending the defender off at the end of the first half after reviewing VAR footage of the incident.
Klopp, in his post-match interview, gave his opinion on the handball incident:
“Everyone who watches the Premier League or Chelsea knows they’re pretty good in defending,” the German said, speaking to Sky Sports after the game. “It was clear it doesn’t help us. The goal we scored, penalty we got, was obviously very deserved.
“I feel for Reece but it was tricky but it was a clear penalty. We forced the situation. We had a big chance with [Jordan Henderson], a sensational pass from Trent [Alexander-Arnold].”
Since he replaced Lampard as Chelsea boss at the end of January, Tuchel’s Blues have taken 36 points and conceded a mere nine league goals. The world-class levels of defensive organization were on fully display against the Reds as the visitors shut up shop in the second half, limiting Jürgen Klopp’s side to a handful of half chances.
The 54-year old nodded to that record, lamenting his side’s inability to break down the resolute Blues defense:
“We played good,” Klopp continued. “Second half, everybody thinks ‘against 10 men, come on...’ and this kind of stuff and this is the first problem you have.
“There is no advantage. There’s an advantage if they have possession, you have to outnumber and defend them top level [but then you can counter]. But the defensive structure changed only that they defended slightly deeper. They have eight players defending the area around the box.
“We couldn’t use that. We had shots from distance, Mendy saved them. I would have loved to see that we were a little bit closer for the rebound or whatever.
“But again, a good game, a highly intense game. I loved the intensity and the atmosphere we created all together, the people in the stands and on the pitch. Chelsea deserved a draw. We got a point as well so we’re better than before.”
“We drew against the best team in Europe last season. That’s OK. Three games played, seven points, let’s go. I’m not surprised or whatever. We’re in a good shape.
“We carry on. There are no easy games.
The Reds will be off the next two weeks due to the international break and will be in action to visit Leeds on September 12th.