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Jurgen Klopp Blames Wind for Liverpool's Draw with Everton in Merseyside Derby

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2019

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Fabinho (L) is embraced by Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp after drawing the English Premier League football match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on March 3, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp thinks the wind at Goodison Park put Liverpool at a disadvantage during Sunday's goalless Merseyside derby in the Premier League.

The 0-0 stalemate left Klopp's Reds trailing leaders Manchester City by a point with nine matches remaining. Perhaps speaking from frustration, Klopp pinpointed the weather as the reason for two dropped points:

This Is Anfield @thisisanfield

🗣 Klopp post-match: Very difficult game for different reasons. I know people don't like it when I say it, but the wind came from all different directions, the ball was in the air a lot.

It reads like a poor excuse for a damaging run of draws that's now stretched to four in Liverpool's last six league games. The dismal sequence extends to five in seven across all competitions when counting the 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich at Anfield in the first leg of the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League back in February.

Klopp is making a habit of lamenting the weather as a way of deflecting negative attention away from a poor result. He blamed the wind when Wolverhampton Wanderers sent Liverpool packing from the third round of this year's FA Cup back in January.

bet365 @bet365

Jurgen Klopp since arriving at Liverpool: vs Southampton: Too windy vs West Brom: Lack of extra-time due to TV broadcasters vs West Brom (again): Pitch too slow vs Wolves: Too windy vs Leicester: Too snowy vs Everton: Too windy https://t.co/0xYGuYgNbt

While it makes sense for Klopp to try and distract critics content to talk about a title bid starting to crumble, he can't ignore Liverpool's growing problems. Most of those issues are to do with a distinct lack of guile from midfield.

Klopp continues to trust industry over ingenuity in the middle. He fielded a workmanlike starting trio of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum for the trip across Merseyside.

This group offered plenty of tough running, but the supply lines to forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were cut. Things would have been different had schemers Xherdan Shaqiri or Adam Lallana, who were left on the bench, been included from the start.

Lallana was introduced five minutes from time, but in place of Mane, one of the players he should have been creating chances for. It was a late and cautious change from a manager who looks increasingly like he may be losing his nerve in a tense race for the title.

Klopp left his creative talent on the bench too long against Everton.
Klopp left his creative talent on the bench too long against Everton.Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Former Reds centre-back Jamie Carragher was critical of Klopp while speaking on Sky Sports (h/t Lewis Winter of the Daily Express): "I do feel there should have been more of a change, more of an attacking threat from Liverpool, the substitutions that they made, certainly on the hour mark."

Carragher was referring to Klopp swapping Wijnaldum for James Milner and striker Divock Origi for Roberto Firmino, two like-for-like changes that did little to offer the impetus Liverpool were missing.

If there is a defence for Klopp's approach at Goodison it has to do with Mohamed Salah missing several key chances. While Liverpool couldn't create sustained passages of possession, Klopp's direct style still helped his players release the club's leading scorer often enough to make the difference.

Klopp defended Salah, despite his costly profligacy:

This Is Anfield @thisisanfield

Klopp on Salah's missed chances: He's doing everything right, in the last moment, the decision making... that's how it is.

Ultimately though, the feeling remains Liverpool didn't offer enough going forward to beat a familiar foe and make a statement to City. Even the most dire weather can't excuse this consistent failing at the business end of the season.

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