Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits preparation for Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Tottenham was made “tough” by the club’s coronavirus situation.
The Reds saw preparations for the game suffer disruption after Thiago Alcantara tested positive – joining Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones – while Jordan Henderson was ill but does not have Covid-19.
That came after playing against Newcastle on Thursday night, while they also had no chance to scout Tottenham properly as the hosts were returning to action for the first time in a fortnight after a coronavirus outbreak of their own.
Klopp’s side earned a point thanks to goals from Diogo Jota and Andrew Robertson, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min getting on the scoresheet for Spurs, though there was significant VAR drama in the match which the German felt also affected things.
“Yes, it’s tough, absolutely tough,” he said of the build-up to the game. “You play against Tottenham and you saw they looked fresher in the second half than in the first half, so this is an intense period and we have to make sure we all have the same chances, the same situation pretty much.
“It’s difficult in that moment, I see that, but apart from that I don’t know which team I can line up because I always wait in the morning for the test results, we had absolutely no idea about the Tottenham team.
“Usually you prepare for a game and you have an idea who played last week and stuff like this, but we had absolutely no idea – and we saw the line-up and apart from (Pierre-Emile) Hojbjerg, it was pretty much the first line-up and they looked already fresh.
“We were just better in the first half, or we were more dominant. I’m not sure of the numbers, but 70/30 per cent possession at Tottenham is nearly ridiculous, to be honest.
“There was no open game, it was just counter-attacking, so that’s all tough. So, yes, the situation is not easy but we play football as long as people tell us to.”
Jota scored his sixth goal in the last seven games to level matters at 1-1 and the Portuguese was content with a point.
“Well, pretty intense,” he told the club’s official website. “Hard – a hard game from the beginning until the end, a lot of things going on.
“I think we did a very good first half; second half, they pushed a little bit more forward. They had their chances, we had ours. We have a point and we move on.
“I think the first half was better from our side than the second. We also had the red card (Robertson) so we couldn’t push forward in the last minutes like we normally do.
“But in the end, it’s a point and we move on.”