Fresh off the back of beating Manchester City at Anfield, Liverpool proved that there are no easy matches in the Premier League by running out less than 48-hours later to a disappointing draw with top-flight basement dwellers Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. While that surprising result was great for punters working the profit accumulator and honing their mathematical skills with matched betting, it left both Reds supporters and players alike scratching their heads.
“I’m never satisfied with my performance – I always want more,” Liverpool centre-back Ragnar Klavan, who tripped up Didier Ndong to hand the Black Cats their first penalty, told the club’s official website. “That has always been [the way] for me throughout my career, something that keeps pushing me forward,” continued the Estonian defender. “After every game, you find a lot of things you can improve,” added the veteran defender. “You take those things into the next week’s training and start working on them. It’s nice to always move forward.”
And move forward they will with the FA Cup Third Round meeting with Plymouth Argyle at Anfield on Sunday. The Reds have a busy month ahead of them and the meeting with the League Two side is only the start of it. Although Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is known for taking every opportunity to win a trophy seriously, he’s being tipped to name a side filled with youth and reserve players with a trip to Manchester United, a meetings with Chelsea and Swansea City as well as a two-legged League Cup semi-final with Southampton forcing the German manager to keep a close eye on the fitness of the first team players.
“We can play better football, but I’m not sure if we can play better with a one-day break,” explained Klopp, taking another swipe at the hectic Festive Fixture list. “Both goals we conceded – the first one, after a throw-in I think, [Didier] Ndong runs into the box and the referee gives a penalty and the second one it was not a free-kick,” said the German manager, airing his frustration. “Sadio has the ball on his arm so it’s handball, but it’s not a free-kick before, there wasn’t even contact,” mused the Reds manager. “But we have to accept this and so they scored goals and us only two, so the result is 2-2.”