Yuri Tielemans repeated Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta’s mistake, and Liverpool made him pay
You would think people would have learned by now, right?
How many times before a big European match at Anfield has a coach or an opposing player said that he is not concerned about the famous atmosphere?
Too many to count, and it just acts like a red rag for the bull that is Liverpool’s fan base during a game.
More often than not, the man who drove to town claiming the Kop would make little difference to the outcome comes home after the game well beaten and with a dazed expression plastered to his face.
Over the past 18 months or so, we’ve seen a few examples of this happening during games, with opposition managers trying to put someone in red, only to see it backfire.
And in Liverpool’s electrifying Carabao Cup game against Leicester City, we saw it from one of the visiting players. It was a tight thing, but the end result of the game was the same as usual.
A largely inexperienced Reds side didn’t have a good time in the first half, but while the score could have been worse, they were only 3-1 down at the break.
It wasn’t going to be easy to recover from a very solid formation at Leicester, but JÃ¼rgen Klopp knew it was not out of the question thanks to the power of the crowd.
âI was really happy at halftime and it was only 3-1 because I knew we had a chance. That’s exactly how we approached the halftime talks, there has a great chance here tonight, “he said.
Penalty shootout hero CaoimhÃn Kelleher also echoed this sentiment in his post-match interview.
“The manager just said at half-time: ‘If you score the next goal, this crowd will stand up and anything can happen.’ So we always believe in it until the end and it shows, “he explained.
With 68 minutes elapsed, Diogo Jota halved the arrears with a well-scored goal. Anfield was swaying, but a further push wouldn’t have hurt.
Enter Yuri Tielemans, the last visitor to think their host’s liquidation was somehow a good idea. And at Christmas too. Out of shame, Youri.
The Leicester team were clearly annoyed by a 50/50 challenge between Ibrahima KonatÃ© and Marc Albrighton, the latter of which did less well. As James Milner advanced the ball into their half of the field, his attempted pass was blocked by Tielemans and went out into touch.
For reasons that only he is aware of, the Belgian took this as his signal to get involved in a scramble match with Milner.
Presumably he was annoyed that Liverpool had played while Albrighton was down, but with his team clinging to a one-goal advantage, was it smart to bust the home faithful?
Of course not, but obviously that is what happened.
When Klopp was asked about the fans after the game, he said: “I don’t know exactly a percentage of how much we mean compared to other things in their life, but it’s a big deal and yes we feel that responsibility. We feel a lot more the push that we get from it. “
And much of the push was thanks to Tielemans. It was only a month since we last saw something similar go wrong for an instigator, in this case Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
In the first half of the Gunners’ annual loss at Anfield, the game went scoreless and went into second gear. Whether it was a premeditated or exaggerated reaction to a routine two-player challenge, Arteta and his coaching staff have seriously opposed a clash between Sadio ManÃ© and Takehiro Tomiyasu. But all he did was liven up the home fans and from there Liverpool were to a 4-0 victory.
Pep Guardiola’s famous “twice” rant (or infamous, from Man City’s perspective) would fall into the same category.
And while a previous example happened behind closed doors and therefore didn’t affect the crowd, Frank Lampard ended up with an egg to his face when his Chelsea side lost 5-3 in 2020. So as he moaned against Klopp and his assistants, Trent Alexander-Arnold casually gave Kepa Arrizabalaga a free kick to put the home side 2-0 up.
It doesn’t matter who it is or what the state or position of the match is. If a visiting player or manager tries to liquidate someone at Liverpool, there is usually only one winner, and Tielemans is only the last to fall victim to it.
You come to the king, you better not miss it.