Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have made a habit of driving change in the footballing world.
They redefined the role of the fullback through world beaters Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson and forced teams to recognize the value of central defenders and goalkeepers with then-world record transfers for Virgili Van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
A big Reds’ win has often also sealed the fate of more than a few managers on the hot seat, as romping victories over rivals Manchester United in 2018 and 2021 were the final straws in the tenures of Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær respectively.
However, the aftermath of Liverpool’s 7-0 decimation of United over the weekend could mark a new frontier in the Reds’ penchant for shifting paradigms: global changes to the rules of football itself.
The Daily Mail reports that FIFA’s refereeing chief, Pierluigi Collina has put forward a radical proposal to completely eliminate extra time in blowout matches, thereby saving teams like Manchester United, for example, from having to suffer that additional five minutes of ole’s from the serenading crowd.
Collina did in fact reference Manchester United’s joint-largest ever defeat when discussing the suggested rule change in a conference call on Thursday, with the former referee noting that the match had arguably been decided minutes into the second half.
Liverpool’s complete and utter humiliation of their eternal rivals only served to highlight what has been a larger discussion about time added on at the end of matches:
“It was one [minute of stoppage time in the first half at Anfield] plus three [in the second half],” he said on the call.
“I can understand that showing the relevant amount of time when it’s 7-0 is difficult to understand in the specific match.
“But if the competition regulations say that goal difference is relevant for the ranking at the end [of the season], even one goal scored or not scored can make the difference.
“When I played baseball, there was a rule that, after the sixth inning, if there was a difference in terms of score of more than six, the match was over.
“Maybe in the future we may consider within the laws of the game to say that additional time has not to be given at the end of the match if there is a difference of ‘X’ goals between the teams. But these would be [changes to] the laws of the game.”
Collina then went on to praise the approach taken to time-wasting at the recent World Cup in Qatar in which time-wasting was punished by extended time added on at the end. Wherever things end up, United supporters will simply be happy that World Cup rules were not in effect at Anfield over the weekend amidst their biggest loss in nearly 100 years.
Oh, and Liverpool scored seven goals and Manchester United scored zero goals even though they were trying.