Klopp should be concerned about injuries – but he’s arguing with wrong people

The answer lies somewhere in between.

BT Sport can feel justified in defending their position over the 12.30pm kick-off row on the basis that they are indeed the wrong targets.

It is the Premier League that agrees the timings of matches with the clubs.

So yes, it made for good telly and yes, it trended on Twitter. But presenters and journalists should not be placed in the position of having to defend themselves in the crossfire. They are just doing their jobs.

These are discussions to be had between chief executives and the competition organisers. Not managers and broadcasters.

And yet the fall-out from the congestion sparked by coronavirus has everyone at each others’ throats.

Klopp was involved in a back-and-fourth exchange with BT Sport’s Des Kelly after the draw

Like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola during this first few months of the new season, Jurgen Klopp has every right to go ballistic over his players being asked to perform every three days at the highest level. The German – who sarcastically applauded the assistant referee after Brighton’s equaliser – had warned last week that the fixture scheduling means they may not finish the season with 11 players.

James Milner’s premature end to this game underscored his concerns. He’d started the game in midfield before moving to right back then making an early exit. Another muscle injury. Another important, versatile player to Klopp rendered unavailable to the Champions for a number of weeks.

Trent Alexander Arnold, already out, spoke to the Mirror on Saturday to express his concerns about the punishing schedule. Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson, Joe Gomez, Xherdan Shaqiri and Thiago Alcantara – all of whom have suffered this season – would doubtless back him up.

Milner suffered a hamstring injury at the Amex

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When does it end for Liverpool? If you’re keen to see them surrender their Premier League title, you probably don’t care.

If you care about player welfare – regardless of which club you support – then you’d agree that we have reached a tipping point.

The trouble is, the 12:30pm slot is an important one for broadcasters – especially with fans not going to stadiums for 3pm kick offs. It makes money – big money – for the Premier League in the Asian markets where it suits several eastern time zones. These are all considerations when the contracts are signed. And the contracts do matter.

What doesn’t matter is who is right and who is wrong. What matters more is the sharp rise – 16 per cent – in muscle injuries compared to this point last season. Klopp absolutely has a point.

Maupay missed a first-half penalty before later being withdrawn through injury

Have Liverpool been unfairly disadvantaged by the television schedule this season? Have your say here.

Brighton boss Graham Potter – who suggested pre-match that Liverpool needed to put their shoulders back and get on with it – found himself having to deal with injuries that saw him withdraw both striker Neal Maupay and substitute midfielder Adam Lallana prematurely.

To pinch a point in the second minute of injury time was some going in the circumstances.

Regardless of the exasperation over VAR, it was a penalty. Robertson had kicked Danny Welbeck’s boot in the box. It was just that it was neither clear, nor obvious. Pascal Gross converted after Maupay had missed an opportunity to put Brighton ahead midway through the first half.

What a shame the controversy around the game and the aftermath overshadowed Diego Jota’s ninth goal of the season. The Portugal international went past two defenders and firing into the bottom corner.

VAR – correctly – ruled out goals from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in either half for offside.

It was that kind of day for Liverpool. It is an achievement in itself that with all of the setbacks and obstacles in front of them, they are still punching their weight at the top.

If they are to be taken down this season, they’ll have to be carried out on their shields.

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