The thrilling denouement to Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Tottenham may have been painful for Spurs supporters as their fightback from three goals down ended in a 4-3 defeat. It was no less agonizing for Jurgen Klopp though, who suffered a painful injury as he celebrated Diogo Jota’s last-gasp winner.
Klopp suffered the double whammy of a yellow card and an injury after his wild celebration after it took him to a spot just in front of fourth official, celebrating nearly in his face while giving him a stare. That could well prompt further charges from the Football Association but there were more immediate concerns for the manager to consider in the afterglow of three crucial points. As he conducted post-match cheers in front of The Kop, the German was visibly wincing through the delight.
He may well need Liverpool’s medical staff to assess the full extent of an injury that comes as the end of the season looms large. “I’m not sure it’s a hamstring. It could be an adductor as well. It’s painful.”
It looks like getting stuck into drills on the training ground may be beyond Klopp for the remainder of this season.
More concerning for the Liverpool boss, however, was the manner in which referee Paul Tierney gave him his booking. “We have our history with Tierney, I really don’t know what he has against us, he has said there is no problems but that cannot be true.
“How he looks at me, I don’t understand it. In England, nobody has to clarify these situations, it’s really tricky and hard to understand. My celebration was unnecessary, which is fair but what he said to me when he gave me the yellow card is not OK.”
Klopp would never have expected such wild celebrations after the opening 15 minutes, where his Liverpool side romped into a three-goal lead against a woeful Tottenham defense. However, the hosts were guilty of not pressing home their advantage further, turning what might have been a repeat of Spurs’ 6-1 loss to Newcastle last week into a draw. Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and, in the third minute of added time, Richarlison brought Tottenham level before Jota pounced on a heavy touch by Lucas Moura.
The goal was all the harder for Tottenham to take, coming after Jota was only booked for a kick to the head of Oliver Skipp that drew blood from the Spurs midfielder.
“It’s probably the clearest red card you will see on the football pitch,” said interim head coach Ryan Mason.
“I need an explanation. It endangered the opponent, Skipp needs stitches and Jota has scored the goal when he shouldn’t be on the pitch.”
Jota told the BBC, “It’s not a great tackle. I also touched the ball. I also think he gets his head down. It’s just brave from him. Unfortunately, it’s a foot in the face. I saw the ref could see I didn’t mean it and it’s just football.”
Victory took Liverpool up to fifth, though they are seven points behind Manchester United in the Champions League qualifying positions having played a game more. Tottenham, meanwhile, are sixth but at risk of being leapfrogged by Brighton, who have three games in hand. They could ultimately find themselves battling with Aston Villa for a European place.