EPL

'Why would you do that?' - Klopp unhappy with scheduling of Liverpool's trip to Newcastle United

By Sports Desk April 12, 2022

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has once again taken aim at the Premier League and broadcasters for their scheduling of games.

The Reds have five fixtures remaining in a busy April across three competitions, with a potential sixth game if they get past Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Liverpool remain a point behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race after their 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with a repeat fixture against Pep Guardiola's men to come in the FA Cup semi-finals next weekend.

Klopp was particularly unhappy with the decision to schedule his team's trip to Newcastle United on Saturday April 30 for a 12:30 (BST) kick-off, as it would be the next game after a potential Champions League semi-final first leg.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of the game against Benfica at Anfield, Klopp was asked about the potential of winning four trophies, having already claimed the EFL Cup earlier this season.

"The only game I am concerned about is tomorrow night, Benfica," he said. "Then, because of the success we had so far we play Saturday, City.

"Then we play [Manchester] United [on Tuesday, April 19], then we play Everton [on Sunday, April 24], then if we get through tomorrow night we have the [Champions League] semi-final, then BT and the Premier League give us Newcastle away at 12:30.

"It's just not okay. If we play a Champions League semi-final, if you find another league in the world and another broadcaster where they put one team who is in the semi-final, might be two, might be three English teams, on a 12:30...What? What are you doing? Why would you do that?

"So that's why it's so difficult [to win four trophies], but nothing happens because nobody cares."

The German coach insisted his line-up against Benfica will not be influenced by Saturday's FA Cup semi-final being on the horizon, despite having a 3-1 advantage heading into the second leg.

"The next game has absolutely no influence on the line-up for tomorrow night, but the last game [against City] has, so we have to see. Obviously we have a really super intense schedule.

"There is nobody injured as far as I know, but we have to have a look who is fresh enough for this game.

"We see it as a super important game. We tried so hard last year to get qualified for the Champions League, and now we can make it to the semis, which is incredible and that's what we want to show tomorrow night, that it really means a lot to us."

Klopp was also asked for his thoughts on Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez, who scored Benfica's goal in the first leg in Lisbon last week.

"Extremely good-looking boy," he joked. "Really good, really good. He played pretty much in front of me, with his tough battles with Ibou Konate. Physically strong, quick, was calm with his finish.

"If he stays healthy, it's a big career ahead of him."

Related items

  • Kane warns no 'straight line' to Euro 2024 success as England captain eyes glory Kane warns no 'straight line' to Euro 2024 success as England captain eyes glory

    Harry Kane says England's drab draw with Denmark will be a distant memory if the Three Lions go on to succeed at Euro 2024, with no "straight line" to success.

    Gareth Southgate's side disappointed for large parts in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Denmark but are still in control of Group C heading into the final matchday.

    England face Slovenia on Tuesday, when Denmark also meet Serbia, with Southgate's men boasting a two-point advantage and pole position in their hands.

    Yet there has been added scrutiny after an underwhelming showing in their last outing, with Kane facing criticism for his part in an uninspired England performance.

    The England captain insists all will be forgotten if the Three Lions can respond and go deep into the tournament in Germany.

    "I think that's part of having the experience and using that to your advantage," Kane said at Sunday's pre-match press conference. 

    "It would be silly just to forget all those past experiences and past tournaments because they can be really helpful and really useful. That's what I try and do.

    "I think a lot of the players who have been here for a long time do the same and you have the responsibility to try and share that with the other players. Major tournaments are tough, like I touched on, there's always going to be ups and downs.

    "It's never just a straight line to the top, or not in our experience. We know how much it took to get close in the last Euros [in 2021].

    "The bottom line is where you finish in the tournament. No one is going to remember the 1-1 draw against Denmark if we go all the way and win it. That's just the reality.

    "It's just understanding that you don't get too carried away if you're winning games and don't get too down if you're playing as we've played so far in the tournament.

    "It's just about pushing on and finding a way to make sure we get to the knockout stage. And then once we're there, knockout football is ours to take."

    Southgate's future has also come under speculation, with the England manager's current contract ending in December and Manchester United reportedly showing interest before sticking with Erik ten Hag.

    Many have pointed their frustrations at Southgate's tactics with England failing to get the best out of a host of starts, including Premier League champion Phil Foden and Champions League winner Jude Bellingham.

    Yet Kane placed his full backing in Southgate, urging critics to look at where the manager has taken them from.

    "I can't speak highly enough of Gareth and what he's done for the team, for this nation in terms of where we were and where we are now as a national team is completely different," he added. 

    "I think he's brilliant on the details, making sure that there's no stone unturned and that we know everyone knows what they're going to be doing going into games.

    "Just as a person and giving us the freedom to be ourselves and whether that's on the pitch or off the pitch, just to feel comfortable doing that.

    "I think being England manager is a really difficult job. That's the bottom line. He knows that and we all know that.

    "There's always going to be people who maybe criticise him or doubt him, but I think his record speaks for itself. He's been extremely successful with us.

    "Like all of us, I know he wants to, and we want to take that next step and win it.

    "We're all really determined to do that so he will do what's best for the nation, he will make the decision what's best for the team and all I'd say is to just get behind him."

  • Scotland 0-1 Hungary: Csoboth sends Clarke's side out of Euro 2024 after Vargas concern Scotland 0-1 Hungary: Csoboth sends Clarke's side out of Euro 2024 after Vargas concern

    Scotland were sent crashing out at Euro 2024 after Kevin Csoboth scored a stoppage-time winner to snatch a 1-0 win for Hungary on Sunday.

    Csoboth was denied late on by the woodwork but then delivered the decisive strike with the latest goal ever scored in a European Championship match (excluding extra time), timed at 99 minutes and 32 seconds.

    Victory moved Hungary up to three points in Group A and with a chance of knockout-stage progression, though there was cause for concern as Barnabas Vargas left the pitch on a stretcher in the second half.

    Vargas collided with Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn in an aerial duel, with a lengthy stoppage following for a head injury as Hungary's players and staff formed a wall to protect their striker inside the six-yard box.

    That prolonged period of time was added on at the end, setting up the match-winning moment as Csoboth linked up with Roland Sallai before slotting his team-mate's cross into bottom-left corner.

    Csoboth's late heroics saw Steve Clarke's side drop to bottom of their pool, with just a point to their name as Scotland's wait for a knockout-stage appearance at a major tournament stretched to 12 attempts.

    Scotland's showing hardly merited an unlikely progression, however, as their best chance came when Stuart Armstrong was felled by Willi Orban, only for the referee to wave away penalty appeals.

    The VAR stuck with the on-field decision, much to Clarke's frustration, before Scotland failed to heed the warning sign of Csoboth's late strike against Gunn's left-hand post and were subsequently punished.

    Data Debrief: Familiar struggles for Scotland

    This was Scotland’s 12th major tournament group stage and in 50% of those they have failed to win a single match – at the 1954, 1958, 1986 and 1998 World Cups and Euro 2020 and 2024.

    Clarke can have no complaints either as Scotland had just 17 shots at this tournament – since the group stage was introduced in 1980, that is the joint fewest by a nation in a group stage, along with Northern Ireland at Euro 2016.

    Meanwhile, Hungary ended a run of eight Euros matches without a win, registering their first victory since a 2-0 win over Austria at Euro 2016 – keeping Marco Rossi's side in the hunt for the last 16.

  • Switzerland 1-1 Germany: Late Fullkrug leveller secures Group A top spot for hosts Switzerland 1-1 Germany: Late Fullkrug leveller secures Group A top spot for hosts

    Niclas Fullkrug proved the last-gasp hero as Germany avoided a shock upset to top Group A at Euro 2024 after snatching a 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Sunday.

    Dan Ndoye's first international goal seemed set to seal a famous win for Switzerland and ensure them top spot in Group A, but Germany's towering substitute stepped up in the dying seconds in Frankfurt.

    Ruben Vargas thought he had doubled Switzerland's advantage late on, only to be denied by the offside flag, and that decision proved pivotal when Fullkrug headed in his 92nd-minute leveller.

    That late intervention ensured Germany finished top of the group and will face second place in Group D in the last 16, while Switzerland's top-two finish sets up a meeting with the runners-up of Group B.

    The host nation started brightly once again and thought they had taken another early lead when Florian Wirtz teed up Robert Andrich, who squeezed his shot past Yann Sommer into the near post.

    However, the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder was denied his first international goal after a VAR check as Jamal Musiala was deemed to have fouled Michel Aebischer in the box during the build-up.

    Nagelsmann's team instead found themselves behind for the first time in the tournament just before the half-hour mark after Ndoye crashed Remo Freuler's whipped cross past the helpless Manuel Neuer.

    Just moments later, Ndoye offered Germany another scare, racing past Antonio Rudiger before fizzing an angled shot just wide of the far post. 

    Nagelsmann's half-time message was clear as Musiala looked to make it three goals in three games with a powerful hit from the edge of the box, but Sommer was equal to the attempt.

    Toni Kroos drilled a low shot wide under pressure before Kai Havertz glanced a header over the bar as Germany failed to find their clinical edge.

    Joshua Kimmich had the best chance to equalise from close range in the 71st minute, but an incredible last-ditch block by Manuel Akanji denied him.

    Vargas was left one-on-one with Neuer shortly after and slotted into the far corner, but the assistant referee was quick to flag for offside as Switzerland celebrations were short-lived.

    Havertz's looping header bounced off the crossbar as Germany sought a response, which arrived when Fullkrug made his impact off the bench, thumping a header home from David Raum's left-sided delivery.

    Neuer's record-breaking day salvaged by Fullkrug

    Neuer had already made history in their opening game at Euro 2024 as he became Germany's outright top appearance maker at major tournaments, surpassing Philipp Lahm.

    Now, on his 37th start for his country, only Cristiano Ronaldo (45) has played more games across the Euros and World Cup than him, while he has also made the most appearances among goalkeepers in the history of the competition (18, moving ahead of Gianluigi Buffon).

    The 38-year-old could not mark a special day with a win, though, as Germany's long wait for a comeback victory when trailing at half-time stretched to 11 matches in the competition (D2 L9).

    Their last such win came at Euro 1976 against Yugoslavia (2-0 down at half-time, won 4-2), but Neuer and Co. can at least celebrate top spot after late drama in Frankfurt.

    Ndoye steps into the spotlight

    Xherdan Shaqiri grabbed the headlines in Switzerland's 1-1 draw with Scotland last time out after scoring in a sixth consecutive major tournament, but with him on the bench on Sunday, the Red Crosses needed others to step up.

    In his 14th start for the national side, Ndoye netted for the first time, becoming Switzerland's second-youngest goalscorer in the history of the Euros at 23 years and 242 days, after Johan Vonlanthen against France in 2004 (18y 141d).

    Despite going off in the 65th minute, Ndoye had the most shots for Switzerland (two of their three), creating an expected goals tally of 0.52 as he proved their biggest threat.

    Though Switzerland will rue their late concession, they are now unbeaten in their last four meetings with Germany – a promising sign as the last-16 awaits.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.