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Passionate Klopp makes his point as Liverpool leave it late against West Brom

Liverpool 2-2 West Brom

By Simon Hughes

Published 14/12/2015

Christian Benteke tumbles behind West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley
Christian Benteke tumbles behind West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley

It was in the sixth minute of injury time when the earth began to shake, causing the mood to swing diametrically to the opposite of what it was before.

Divock Origi's equaliser had taken an enormous deflection off Gareth McAuley, and knowing he was beaten, West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill fell to his knees in acceptance.

Previously, Anfield had been a torment filled forum; a place consumed by doubt and self-reproach. Suddenly, it was trembling to its foundations - not entirely due to the point gained but because of Jurgen Klopp's reaction.

The German lost control of his senses, firstly moving towards visiting manager Tony Pulis, bellowing something at him. An argument had begun between the pair 20 minutes earlier when Martin Skrtel was barged into the Main Stand by Salomon Rondón, although Pulis later claimed Skrtel had been the aggressor.

Klopp turned and let out an almighty roar, which could be heard from the press box. In thrashing his arms about furiously, Klopp must have felt like a conductor. Klopp (pictured) wanted more than a draw, urging Liverpool forward, hoping that Anfield followed him into war.

Yet time had run out and at the final whistle he embraced with his battered players, who saluted the Kop by holding hands and advancing on the famous stand.

There surely cannot be a more dramatic way to finish a 2-2 draw at home to the 13th best team in the Premier League.

Klopp said: "I know it's only one point but it felt like three. This moment was an explosion, it's the best I've felt since I've been here.

"Sometimes a point deserved in the right way is more important: for development, the style of play against a team like this. I really enjoyed this game, I enjoyed the atmosphere with my whole body."

Both managers were determined to downplay their spat. If anything, Pulis seemed to relish it.

"He was animated but I've been animated all my life on the bench," Pulis reasoned. "I have no problems with that."

Somehow, Craig Gardner was not dismissed for a tackle on Dejan Lovren, which forced the Croatian defender to leave the pitch on a stretcher with his leg in a brace and needing oxygen. Klopp confirmed that Lovren needed stitches on his knee and will now undergo a scan.

Concealed amidst the drama was a reality: Liverpool are not yet an unstoppable force and presently, this is what happens when they face an immovable object.

West Brom's defence was so powerful and robotic. Clearances were regularly so high, they must have been close to interfering with air traffic control at John Lennon Airport.

Like the second-half, the first had finished mired in controversy, with the visiting team believing they had taken a lead only for it to be correctly swiped away, albeit through a confusing decision making process.

Jonas Olsson and two team-mates were offside when Gardner's free-kick was delivered into the box. Olsson volleyed it past Simon Mignolet and celebrated by kung-fu kicking the corner flag, but only after examining referee Craig Pawson's reaction to check he wasn't being daft.

West Brom's players had just about finished high-fiving each other when Pawson decided to speak to his assistant, Richard West, who had not raised his flag. After 20 seconds or so of consultation, Pawson awarded a free-kick for Liverpool, causing Pulis to go mad.

Liverpool deservedly took the lead. There was a cross, a knock-down header and a sweeping finish, with Emre Can, Adam Lallana and then Jordan Henderson completing the sequence.

Craig Dawson's equaliser arrived after more horrendous handling from Mignolet. Olsson later headed in another Chris Brunt corner.

That Klopp tried to protect his goalkeeper by taking responsibility for the mistake is significant. Mignolet is expected to sign a new contract in the next few days,

"I said to Simon at half-time, if somebody says it was your fault, it is not true," Klopp said. "I want my keeper to come out and try for everything."

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren (Origi 79), Moreno, Henderson, Can, Milner, Lallana (Firmino 86), Benteke, Coutinho (Ibe 72)

Subs not used: Toure, Lucas, Allen, Bogdan

Goals: Henderson 21, Origi 90

West Brom: Myhill, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Brunt, Evans, Gardner, Fletcher, Morrison, McClean, Rondon (Lambert 90)

Subs not used: Chester, Anichebe, Berahino, McManaman, Lindegaard, Gnabry

Goals: Dawson 30, Olsson 73

Man of the match: Jordan Henderson (pictured)

Match rating: 7/10

Attendance: 44,147

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

Belfast Telegraph

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