Steve McManaman has defended Joel Matip after his own goal in Liverpool’s controversial 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
The former Liverpool player admitted that the 32-year-old was to blame for the own goal he conceded in stoppage time and that “mental exhaustion” or “fatigue” may have played a role.
But McManaman insisted that Joel Matip had played a “very good game” and that, like Jurgen Klopp’s side, they would “bounce back from this bitter defeat”, as he said Premier League Productions (09/30/23 at 7:50 p.m.).
Even though the Reds only played with ten and then nine men for long stretches of the game, they more than deserved the game.
Luis Diaz’s ‘offside’ goal grabs the headlines and will continue to do so, but one could even argue that Liverpool might have taken all three points had his goal stood.
Whatever the case, it was a game that many club members would like to get out of their system as quickly as possible.
Heartbreak for Matip
“Yes you do (feel for Joel Matip),” McManaman said. “But it’s a mistake. No matter whether tiredness or mental exhaustion. Or (lack of) concentration.
“He just takes his eyes off the ball. It’s a pretty easy pass. He hits with his left foot, his right foot clears it. But there it jumps. It won’t jump right in front of him, so he should just keep it focused and watch for it.
“But in the 96th minute. The defenders worked harder than ever before for a Liverpool game under Liverpool’s management. It’s one of those things.
“I don’t think you should necessarily overdo it. I think you look at the game as a whole and some of the circumstances that happened in the game – Liverpool will bounce back. No problem. Joel Matip had a very good game and he will bounce back.”
Liverpool are showing signs of their old self
This was Liverpool’s first defeat of the new Premier League season and given the way Spurs played, it was undeserved.
But Klopp and his players have no time to linger as they are back in the Europa League on Thursday before facing Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
If Liverpool continue to display this ruthless and aggressive style in their play, there is no doubt that the points will rise and they will challenge for the Premier League title.
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