Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was unimpressed with Aston Villa but bristled at the entire concept of time-wasting after a frustrating draw at Anfield.
With a win needed to maintain any realistic hope of qualifying for the Champions League, Liverpool could only salvage a 1-1 draw after going behind in the first half to Jacob Ramsey’s goal.
Villa defended resolutely but also wound the clock down through the usual methods, with three players receiving yellow cards for time-wasting.
Liverpool found an equaliser through substitute Roberto Firmino, the Brazilian making his final appearance for the club at Anfield, but could not get a winner.
The result leaves them three points behind both Newcastle and Man Utd, who have a game in hand on Liverpool and need just a point to guarantee their places in the top four.
But the game itself gave Klopp a platform to rage about one of his favourite subjects.
“Time-wasting is… wow,” Klopp said, bringing his hands to his head. “Wow. We saw with Sevilla, 2-1 up, the ball boys leave the country, Roma against Leverkusen, how long was the ball in play? You always have these kinds of game – you think ‘what is that?’.
“Ten minutes [added time] was really absolutely fine, but we should have another five minutes in just the 10 minutes.
“I think 15 minutes would have been all right. We have to talk about that.
“That’s a subject for another day but that’s just a bit annoying in general I think. How can you do that?
“Do we have to give the yellow cards earlier? They try to play the time down. Everybody is doing it. The whole world. Of course they are, they go to the corner flag, stay on the ball, stuff like this. We have seen in too many games this season, it starts too early. And it’s a rhythm breaker. One team going for it. A player goes down. Breaks the rhythm.
“It has nothing to do with the result today, just a general football subject.”
Asked about Emiliano Martinez’s booking for time-wasting in the 77th minute, Klopp replied: “It is really difficult, I think it is an important thing to talk about but I am afraid you’ll make it [into a story].
“I think the problem is obvious. You say it’s like smart and if you do that it’s fine but I think the whole season you saw it too often.”
Klopp had described a winner in the eighth minute of second-half stoppage-time against Newcastle in August as “a perfect response to that” when questioned about the Magpies’ time-wasting, which has become a subject of discussion this season.
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