Belfast Telegraph

Bilic dedicates Liverpool draw with West Ham to victims of Turkish attack

Liverpool 2 West Ham United 2

By Simon Hughes

An emotional Slaven Bilic dedicated the point gained by West Ham in their 2-2 draw with Liverpool to the people of Turkey following terror attacks in Istanbul.

Two bombs were set off outside the stadium of Besiktas - the club Bilic used to manage - on Saturday night in a co-ordinated attack, killing 38 people and injuring many more.

"What happened there is unbelievable," Bilic said.

"The Turkish people are the best I've ever met. It's very sad what's happening in one of the best cities and one of the best countries.

"The nature of the people is so good, so friendly and so warm. It's tearing me apart. I offer my condolences to the families of the all the victims."

Bilic, whose team were thrashed by Arsenal last week, were worth at least a point at Anfield, having responded to Adam Lallana's opener to lead 2-1 at half-time thanks to goals from Dimitri Payet and Michail Antonio.

Divock Origi's equaliser secured a draw for Liverpool, one that means Jurgen Klopp's side are now six points behind Chelsea. A month ago, they were top of the league but Klopp does not believe Liverpool's title challenge is faltering.

"It's difficult to stay in the race with Chelsea when they win everything and we don't," he said.

"But I don't think about it. When we were first or second, I wasn't thinking about it. This is the moment to collect points as much as possible.

"The season is very long, and as everybody knows the most intense time is coming now.

Klopp added: "Our expectation is that we are in the top region of the table and that's where we want to be in the decisive part of the season, and then we can talk about what's possible."

Though much attention was once again centred on the performance of goalkeeper Loris Karius - especially where Payet's free-kick was concerned - Klopp was more unhappy with the lack of control and defensive protection his side displayed.

"It was a brilliant situation for Payet, I saw him training before the game and he missed all of them. I was hoping (for the same) in the game too, but no," he said.

Antonio capitalised on a mistake by Joel Matip to put the visitors 2-1 up before Origi's fourth goal in as many games salvaged a point but Klopp was not happy with the way Liverpool were opened up by the Hammers.

"We had not a real formation for protection in these moments," added the German.

"Nearly everybody was involved in our offensive situations and we had two centre backs and sometimes Hendo (Jordan Henderson) behind the ball, and nearly everybody else the other side.

"We had a problem with second balls but not too often. The goals (we conceded) weren't in situations like that but we let the game go a little bit away in these moments, we were not completely in control like we could have been."


LIVERPOOL: Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lovren (Klavan, 46mins), Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lallana, Mane, Origi, Firmino. Unused subs: Mignolet, Moreno, Lucas, Ejaria, Woodburn, Alexander-Arnold

WEST HAM: Randolph, Nordtvelt, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Obiang, Lanzini (Fernandes, 78mins), Noble, Payet, Ayew (Carroll, 62mins), Antonio. Unused subs: Adrian, Fletcher, Quina, Browne, Pike

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

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