Liverpool and Chelsea played out an intense 1-1 draw at Anfield which maintained the away side’s lead at the top of the Premier League table. The Blues took the lead through a David Luiz free-kick in the first half before Georginio Wijnaldum equalized with a header in the second half.
The Blues remained 10 points clear of Jurgen Klopp’s men but it could have been more had Diego Costa scored from the penalty spot in the second half. Simon Mignolet did well to save the resultant spot kick which was won by Costa after a bit of a trip by Joel Matip.
There were accusations that the Spanish striker went down easily with minimal contact but Jurgen Klopp wasn’t sure about Costa’s dive in the box and he added that he would not be friends with the striker had he faced the Chelsea player.
“If I had played against Costa I could never be friends, that’s how it is, but when you have him in your team it’s much more fun. He is a warrior,” Klopp was quoted by Sky Sports.
The German manager has time and again stated that his side could have done better had they not been dealt with the injuries to star players. And the former Borussia Dortmund man added that Antonio Conte deserves credit for the results but was unsure about the impact should Costa have not been available throughout the season.
“What (Antonio) Conte is doing with Chelsea is outstanding but Chelsea without Costa this season….?
“He is not the nicest guy on the pitch but I saw no real big incident and until someone tells me something…”
Klopp did add that his side have had to deal with a number of poor decisions going against the club and stated that he wasn’t sure about Costa’s dive in the box.
“If someone tells me it was a dive maybe I will be angry tomorrow but that would be the wrong decision what, number 27, but it doesn’t make it better.”
The draw does end any realistic hopes of Liverpool challenging for the Premier League title this season and it did throw a few questions about the future of another striker, Daniel Sturridge.
Even when the Merseyside club was looking to score the second goal, Klopp decided to stick with Roberto Firmino and only brought on Divock Origi, late in the game. With no real striker scoring loads of goals for the Reds, the need for a target man that suits Klopp’s style is important.
Who knows, if Liverpool had a striker like Costa, who can run about and pressurize defenders, the Reds could have been leading the Premier League at this stage too.