Saturday, January 22, 2022

Chelsea draw ´a big compliment´ to Liverpool – Lijnders

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Jan 2022

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Liverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders insists the Reds deserve credit for their determination in challenging circumstances following the 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday.

The visitors claimed a share of the spoils after an entertaining encounter at Stamford Bridge, despite the hosts recovering from 2-0 down before half-time.

Lijnders took charge of the 2019-20 Premier League champions in the absence of manager Jurgen Klopp, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip also missed the trip to London for the same reason, while Andrew Robertson was suspended.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – who both netted for the Reds – were playing their final match before linking up with Egypt and Senegal respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations.

And Lijnders hailed the character demonstrated by his players.

“It is never boring with us. [There was] incredible intensity from the start with both teams,” he told Sky Sports.

“We would have wanted more control. We had so many good counter-attacks, but it was just missing the last pass. 

“Overall, for the public, it must have been an unbelievable game. The situation we are in, it is a big compliment for the team. We could have made a lot of excuses for today, but our boys fought hard with all the heart they have.

“We want to approach each game like it is a final. In each game we play, whoever is wearing the shirt or on the bench, we are showing this character.”

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson concurred that his team-mates can be proud of their efforts against the Blues.

“Chelsea are a good team, and we gave it everything,” he told Match of the Day. “The lads showed heart in defending and nearly got the reward towards the end on the counter-attack.

“We are disappointed with the two goals close to half-time.

“We reacted the right way in the second half; we dug in, defended well as a team and on another day, we might have found a winner.

“Stamford Bridge is always a difficult place to come, so we take a point and move on.” 

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