Harry Kane's stoppage-time penalty salvaged a 2-2 draw for Tottenham against Liverpool in controversial fashion.

By 90Min
February 05, 2018

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed his side's first-half performance in their 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, while criticizing the refereeing display from Jon Moss and his assistants.

"The game was a very intense game; two really good sides with real challenges," Klopp said in his post-match press conference. 

"First half, a lot of moments when it could have been a free kick but the ref said today, ‘OK, that’s the game, that’s allowed’, but the softest touch in the whole game decides the game. It’s not a penalty, it’s a situation. 

"I heard Lamela was even offside in the situation with one leg. [He was] running into Virgil van Dijk, Virgil sees him in the last moment and stops the movement but still touches him, Lamela is already on the way down. The ref says ‘keep on going’, the linesman makes the decision – that’s how it is, that’s how everyone saw.

"The first penalty was one of the clearest offside situations I have seen so far. In the moment when the ball left the foot of the Tottenham player, Harry Kane is offside and this situation never changed. Nobody touched it apart from Dejan, [so] my defense put him offside, that is good defending. I don’t know what they [match officials] discussed, but it’s not to change."

Klopp, however, soon turned his attention back to the football on show and explained how his side caused Tottenham 'a lot of problems' in the first half.

"Over all of the 90 minutes, yes Tottenham had more possession but mainly in build-up in their own half. We had more possession in the opposite half. That was the game; they have their playing build-up, they have their wide formation. We wanted to press these situations, which is what we did especially in the first half in a fantastic way.

"We caused them a lot of problems, we scored an early goal and had much fantastic situations, crosses from everywhere and put them under pressure. But Tottenham are a good side - a really good side - so they had their moments in their first half and then especially in the second half.

"We could have done better in the second half for sure, but it was very intense. They changed not a lot but they put Alli on 10 instead of Eriksen. Then they brought Lamela as a second 10 and they all are things that we saw and had to react on, but they didn’t create plenty of chances. They had a few moments, 100%, and made a really good game, as my team did as well. In the end it was clear it would be a close result, so that’s what we got – a draw and we have accept it."

Mohamed Salah hit home his 20th Premier League goal of the season, and his manager was very impressed - not just with his goal, but with his overall performance.

"It was a fantastic goal, an outstanding goal," said Klopp. "It was an outstanding performance, [he was] a threat the whole 90 minutes, that’s true. I saw now when I passed a [TV] screen, I saw the stats and it looks like Tottenham had the ball all of the time, but we had them really a lot in their own half and we let them play.

"First half, we were much higher. We played fantastic high pressure, it was unbelievably good, we created moments, we created chances. We had the cross from Trent and the header from Roberto Firmino - you would not count it as a chance, it was not a shot on target, but situations like that, we had a few.

"We had the last situation of the first half when Mo unfortunately passed the ball as little bit too hard for Sadio, otherwise it would’ve been a chance. We had Sadio in a perfect position but he didn’t find the player. 

"So Mo, to go back to your question, he scored both goals [and] the first one was so cool, to get the ball there and with or without a goalkeeper, it makes no difference - that's how it looked. And the second one was outstanding, but it’s really difficult to defend because I think everybody in the stadium, his teammates included, thought he would play a pass and in the end he did it by himself – that was probably in this moment the best idea."

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