Football: Klopp feeling sick as Cherries take 2nd bite at Reds

Bournemouth's Joshua King (left) celebrates scoring their late equaliser with Ryan Fraser as Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet vents his frustration at his team-mates in their 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield.
Bournemouth's Joshua King (left) celebrates scoring their late equaliser with Ryan Fraser as Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet vents his frustration at his team-mates in their 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp had seen it all before. Panic stations in his defence, chances to clear spurned carelessly and, for the second time this season, Bournemouth scoring late to deprive his side of precious Premier League points.

The Liverpool manager has a healthy admiration for Eddie Howe, but on Wednesday, he will have been sick of the sight of him and his relentless team, who managed an 87th-minute equaliser to draw 2-2 at Anfield.

This was not quite the 4-3 comeback that had left Klopp stunned in December when three points somehow escaped his side. Yet, when Joshua King proved to have the coolest head among a cluster of bodies with three minutes remaining, two more points slipped from his grasp.

Klopp's side looked set for a crucial victory in their chase for Champions League football, having recovered from Benik Afobe's early goal to lead 2-1 through finishes from Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi.

The moment of weakness came with Klopp having loaded up on defenders by bringing on Joel Matip, and switching to a three-man rearguard after Coutinho was substituted in the 65th minute. The Brazilian complained of feeling sick at half-time.

"We could close the game in one moment, we didn't, we left it open. Then they scored from the second ball after a set-piece and it made me nearly vomit. That is not nice," said Klopp in a neat and colourful summation.

"It is my responsibility - all of this."

In 13 games against Bournemouth and the other seven teams below the south coast club in the Premier League this season, Liverpool have taken just 21 points from a possible 39. And that frustrates the Reds when set against an unbeaten record against the top seven. It means that their quest for a Champions League place will probably go to the wire.

"We have to recover. It's one point more than before. It's not what we wanted but we could have been worse," said Klopp.

"We have lost already games like this this season, and today we didn't, so maybe that is a positive."

Bournemouth's point extended their unbeaten run to five matches, and the Cherries look increasingly likely to survive in the Premier League. They lie 13th on 35 points, seven points above the relegation zone with seven matches to play.

THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2017, with the headline 'Klopp feeling sick as Cherries take 2nd bite at Reds'. Print Edition | Subscribe