Klopp by Anthony Quinn

Klopp by Anthony Quinn

Author:Anthony Quinn [Anthony Quinn]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781783364985
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Published: 2020-11-15T00:00:00+00:00

L: Late Goals

The great teams always seem able to nick one in the nick of time, and in the last couple of years Liverpool have turned the knack into an art. (May we call it the nick-knack?) One would like to think this is down to Klopp’s instruction to ‘keep going to the last minute’, but the way he reacted to Divock Origi’s 96th-minute derby winner – tearing onto the pitch to bearhug Alisson, jumping around like David Pleat in his relegation-escape dance – suggested he was as surprised as anyone by Div’s alert poaching.¶ More recently there was Milner’s 90+5-minute pen to beat Leicester; the comeback at Villa, 1–0 down for most of the game until Mané brilliantly set up Robertson for the equaliser then scored the injury-time winner; Firmino’s last-gasp winner against Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi. This is the stuff of ‘mentality giants’, the team that week by week refuses to accept not winning.

Shankly regarded late goals for his team as practically a matter of entitlement. He would tell his players that the longer the game wore on the more jittery the opposition became – ‘and all of a sudden – boof! We had scored another goal.’ Once they were losing 2–1 to West Ham at Upton Park. In the final minutes Shankly had left the dugout and gone downstairs to brood, unaware that Keegan had equalised with the last kick of the game. Phil Thompson recalls the team returning to the dressing room at the final whistle, all smiles at having secured an unlikely point. The boss stood there glowering like Zeus with his thunderbolt: ‘You should never lose to a team like that,’ he shouted, and was making the walls shake with his outrage when Bob Paisley told him of the last-minute equaliser. It was a draw, Bill! They say that Shankly blushed, though it’s hard to imagine. ‘Great result, lads,’ he said instantly, ‘you deserved it.’


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