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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Jurgen Klopp hits out at penalty decision as Liverpool held by Everton

The German also defends his squad rotation and decision to substitute Mohamed Salah.

Jurgen Klopp was not happy following the Merseyside derby. Peter Powell / EPA
Jurgen Klopp was not happy following the Merseyside derby. Peter Powell / EPA

An angry Jurgen Klopp claimed his Liverpool team had been robbed by the penalty decision which allowed Everton to take a 1-1 draw from the Merseyside derby at Anfield yesterday.

Liverpool led through a first-half strike from Mohamed Salah, but they failed to capitalise on a string of chances to add to their lead and were pegged back when Dejan Lovren appeared to push over Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the 77th minute, and Wayne Rooney lashed home his first goal in a Merseyside derby from the spot

Klopp said he felt his side had been the only one playing for the victory and felt the penalty, awarded by referee Craig Pawson was an injustice.

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“There is only one team playing and you give such a penalty, unbelievable,” he told Sky Sports.

“Yes. Calvert-Lewin makes a step in this direction and even then there is nothing. You give the penalty then one team can celebrate and we can’t.

“I told the referee I didn’t understand this ... I can’t believe in a game like this, with one team trying for 95 minutes, everything to win and the other team are not even in our box, I don’t know if they had a shot aside from the penalty. Then you open the door for them like this. In my understanding it is not okay.”

Klopp also defended his decision to substitute top scorer Salah with his side only one goal to the good at the time he made the change.

He took off the Egyptian for Roberto Firmino with 23 minutes remaining, but he told the BBC: “I can see it in everyone’s eyes, when we win everyone thinks it is a good idea.

“When we don’t I take the blame. I took Salah off and put Firmino on. I have been asked if that was a mistake, that it is my life. I think the performance shows we made the right decision, but the result does not.”

Klopp had caused some surprise pre-match by putting both Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, who had scored two goals at Brighton and Hove Albion in their previous league match, but he said he was rotating his side with one eye on the busy festive period of games ahead.

“Twenty-one days, seven games. We can push them through until one is injured and then people say the squad is not deep enough.

“The players who came on did a brilliant job. Usually you win a game like this with the chances we created.”

Liverpool are next in action on Wednesday at home to West Bromwich Albion.