English Premier League

Jurgen Klopp rages at officials again over Solanke handball and defends Liverpool rotation

Striker Solanke has goal ruled out against West Brom with eight minutes to go as Liverpool stutter to second home draw in a row

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 December, 2017, 10:39am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 December, 2017, 8:56pm

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he will keep rotating his side despite a second consecutive draw at home in a 0-0 stalemate against lowly West Bromwich Albion.

Klopp claimed Liverpool were unlucky as they were denied victory when Dominic Solanke had a goal ruled out for handball with eight minutes left at Anfield.

The German recalled Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, both surprisingly named on the bench in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home to Everton, to form a powerful attacking threat along with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

He also brought Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum into midfield, named Trent Alexander-Arnold in place of Joe Gomez at right-back and replaced Simon Mignolet with Loris Karius in goal.

Asked if he felt his selection against West Brom worked, Klopp said: “That’s not my job to talk about. I made the decision already, and if we don’t win, for me, it’s like it didn’t work.

“That happens quite a lot in the life of a manager. But it would make no sense to be too frustrated about that.”

Klopp, who said Mignolet was rested as a precaution after picking up an ankle knock against Everton, has made 65 changes to his starting line-ups in the Premier League this season, more than any other manager in the division.

“I was 100 per cent convinced about this line-up, like I was 100 per cent convinced about the last line-up,” he said. “But this time at least you cannot blame me for it, or probably you will, I’m not sure.”

The Liverpool boss also felt Solanke’s disallowed goal was a borderline decision, even though television replays suggested that it was handball.

“It’s difficult. For me, it’s twice deflected and I’m still not sure if the hand was with the ball. It looks like chest. In the game it looked 100 per cent like chest,” he said.

“Afterwards I had a few replays, there’s an arm but not sure if he touches the ball.

“It must be a really good assistant that made the decision. He will be happy probably if there was a hand involved.

“That’s another moment where we had no luck, because if he doesn’t see it or he’s not sure – or not as sure as he obviously was – it’s a goal.”