Juergen Klopp’s rant sparks Liverpool to rescue draw against Fulham
Juergen Klopp admitted he had to deliver a wake-up call to Liverpool, before Mohamed Salah spared their blushes with a late penalty which rescued a 1-1 draw against struggling Fulham yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Klopp's side were punished for a sloppy first-half display at Craven Cottage, where Bobby Decordova-Reid gave Fulham a shock lead.
But Salah rescued the English Premier League champions after Aboubakar Kamara handled with 11 minutes left.
Liverpool remain in second place, level on points with leaders Tottenham Hotspur, who were held 1-1 by Crystal Palace a few hours earlier.
"If they had to wake up, I don't know, but I cannot write a book and throw it on the pitch for them to read. But I wanted us to shake up the game," said Klopp, who admitted that he "shouted a bit" at his players.
"After that, it was better and the second half was good. They were fighting for the result, but we had more situations after that and could have scored more."
The German added that his players might be feeling the effects of the fixture pile-up.
He said: "It was crazy and maybe this was the weekend where we all felt it a little bit. But you have to fight against it and that's what the boys did. We move on. Tottenham is the next challenge."
Adding to Klopp's concerns, Joel Matip suffered a back injury that saw him join the long list of casualties, which already included fellow centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
Klopp's pre-match admission that Diogo Jota will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a knee injury leaves the Reds boss relying on Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to lead the attack throughout the hectic festive period.
Klopp had warned his players not to underestimate Fulham as they look ahead to the Tottenham game on Thursday morning, but their erratic performance suggested they hadn't been listening closely.
Goalkeeper Alisson had no answer when Fulham finally got the goal their dominance deserved in the 25th minute.
Salah surrendered possession after a shove on the Egyptian went unpunished on the edge of the Liverpool area.
Ademola Lookman clipped the ball through to Decordova-Reid and the attacker smashed an unstoppable strike past Alisson into the far corner.
Liverpool dominated the closing stages and equalised in the 79th minute. Kamara blocked Georginio Wijnaldum's free-kick with his arm, and Salah's penalty crept under Alphonse Areola's attempted save for his 13th goal of the season. - AFP