Manager Juergen Klopp blamed Liverpool’s poor injury record for their position in the Premier League table after watching his team draw 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool, ninth in the table, took the lead through Philippe Coutinho’s classy side-footed finish but the in-form Harry Kane rescued a point for second-placed Spurs with a clinical strike that marked his 22nd league goal of the season.
“After this game, think if there should be seven positions between us,” Klopp told British media. “If not, then we have to think about how we can close this gap.
“Usually it’s not my job to say this but we had a lot more injury problems than Tottenham. With the same injury problems, who would have played for Tottenham?
“Kane — problem, (Dele) Alli — problem. Then this development is not possible with 25 games in a row. Or (Christian) Eriksen’s out. Plus (Jan) Vertonghen and (Toby) Alderweireld? These are the problems we’ve had to cope with.”
Liverpool take on Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday and midfielder James Milner said the performance against Spurs showed the team was on the right track ahead of the away leg.
Dortmund knocked Tottenham out of the competition 5-1 on aggregate in the previous round.
“There are positives in the performance, there’s not too much to change. We weren’t a million miles off,” Milner told the club website (www.liverpoolfc.com).
“International breaks are never too easy… It’s not an excuse but hopefully we can gain that extra that we need… from being together over these next few days and go again on Thursday.”