Liverpool put in what might have been their best performance of the season so far against the side that headed into the matchweek top of the table, more than good value for their eventual 3-0 victory over upstart Leicester City.
However, not everything was positivity post-match. There was another muscle injury to deal with, as Naby Keïta limped off with a hamstring strain. And afterwards, manager Jürgen Klopp again spoke out against scheduling issues.
“If we keep playing on Wednesday and Saturday 12:30, I’m not sure if we will finish the season with 11 players,” Klopp said to Sky after the match in an interview the broadcaster cut away from before he began his criticism.
“I know you don’t care and that’s the problem. We’ve discussed it and nothing’s happened. I don’t talk about Liverpool, I talk about all the football players. People tell us to rotate, but who? We have offensive players but the rest kids.”
The scheduling of league games when teams play two times a week every week has been an issue Klopp—as well as Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola—has brought up before, but never with this much obvious annoyance.
And for the Liverpool boss, it comes in a week they go from playing the late game on Sunday to playing mid-week against Atalanta then kicking off the next matchweek with Saturday’s early kickoff, minimising rest on all sides.
“It’s a massive problem,” he reiterated. “Wednesday and Saturday 12:30 is a broadcaster problem. We play Atalanta on Wednesday and then 12:30 Brighton. It’s an early Christmas present. I think about sending them the points.
“Start talking and making decisions. I like the relationship with you [but] these contracts aren’t made for a COVID season. We all have to adapt. Everything’s changed, but the contracts with the broadcasters is still ‘we keep this.’”