Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted the Anfield grounds staff were not told to only clear snow from one end of the pitch during half-time of his side’s draw with Leicester City.
It appeared snow had only been removed from the penalty area Liverpool were set to attack before the second half began in Wednesday’s match, but Klopp has denied any wrongdoing.
Why was only part of the snow cleared during Liverpool vs Leicester? Five key things to know…
- Freezing temperatures introduced a flurry of snow before the game but not enough to threaten it being called off.
- There was a dusting of snow in the Leicester penalty area when Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Liverpool early on.
- At half-time, grounds staff appeared to clear the penalty area at the Kop end, which Liverpool would be attacking after the break.
- But Klopp claims there simply wasn’t enough time or manpower to clear a larger area of the pitch.
- Regardless, it didn’t hand Liverpool an advantage; the score remained 1-1 and Liverpool could only stretch their lead at the top of the table by a point.
In a press conference ahead of Liverpool’s trip to West Ham, Klopp was asked if the Anfield grounds staff intentionally cleared just one small section of the pitch.
But the German was adamant there was “no plan” behind what happened, insisting there was no wrongdoing on the club’s part.
“The situation was what everybody saw, when we were warming up it started snowing and the pitch was completely okay but then we went in and it was full of hail and wet snow when we came out, it was really difficult,” Klopp told reporters.
“In the first half we had around 80 per cent of the ball only one team really suffered from that and it was us.
“It was clear our grounds staff tried to clear it but didn’t have enough manpower, they realised how difficult it is when they started doing it.
“There was no plan, nobody told them, I can promise or swear nobody told them clear our pitch side don’t clear their box – where we are more often.
Klopp: Better to defend in a clean box
Klopp also suggested the team with a clean penalty area to defend in actually receives the advantage, claiming it was “no coincidence” that Sadio Mane scored while Leicester’s box was snow-filled.
He added: “People say about sportsmanship but it’s an advantage as well because if their box is clean it’s better to defend. It’s no coincidence the first half we scored a goal in a box full of snow.
“That’s how it is, we cannot change that, in England people are not used to it in Germany you give shovels to all the people even in the stands. Come on the pitch and help and you have 15 minutes to clear it.
“We had commercial things going on around the pitch, obviously it doesn’t happen too often. Next time, first of all, there will be no commercial when it’s snowing, at the Kop end side or any side actually and we will have enough shovels to clear the pitch.”
Liverpool missed the chance to extend their lead over Manchester City to seven points by drawing 1-1 with Leicester.
The Reds travel to West Ham on Monday night and could either be just two points clear or set to set up at least a seven point lead over second place.
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