MX23RW : Wednesday, May 22 05:11:25| >> :600:2614439:2614439:
Apr 21, 2019 at 4pm UK at ​Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 33,082
CardiffCardiff City
0-2
Liverpool
FT(HT: 0-0)
Wijnaldum (57'), Milner (81' pen.)

Jurgen Klopp hits out at Cardiff pitch

Jurgen Klopp hits out at Cardiff pitch
© Reuters
The Reds set a club-record Premier League points tally after a 2-0 victory in Wales.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp described the Cardiff City Stadium playing surface as "dangerous" after his team reclaimed top spot in the Premier League.

A rare Georginio Wijnaldum strike in the 57th minute eased Liverpool nerves before substitute James Milner slotted home a penalty nine minutes from time as Klopp's men defeated relegation-threatened Cardiff 2-0.

The victory means they have a two-point advantage over title rivals Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the opening goal
Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the opening goal (David Davies/PA)

The Reds have also set a new club-record points tally in the Premier League, reaching 88 and passing the total of 86 set in 2009.

Klopp, whilst delighted with the victory, was unhappy with the dry playing surface on a warm day in south Wales.

"The ball didn't roll like normal. Everybody saw it," he said. "It doesn't make football easy when the pitch is dry. It makes it dangerous as well because of injuries.

"Dry pitches are dangerous for players injury-wise. I don't know exactly why the pitch was dry – the ball doesn't roll that quickly.

"It's difficult for the fluency of the game. If you ask footballers what they want, they would say a wet pitch, let's go, let's pass, let's play football.

"You can slide better, everything is better. But we were prepared. I am happy with the outcome."

Reflecting on a ninth successive win in all competitions, Klopp added: "It's really massive. It was not a game for a little bit playing around.

"It was a game for a 100 per cent fight, a battle of will, who wants it more, and difficult circumstances – circumstances that were all a bit in favour for the team who doesn't have the ball that often.

James Milner slots in from the penalty spot
James Milner slots in from the penalty spot (David Davies/PA)

"In the end, we will see how many points we have and then we get what we get.

"We will see what comes out of that game on Wednesday (between Manchester United and Manchester City), but we still have games after that. If United get a point and we go to Newcastle next weekend thinking we have it, then we could get knocked there.

"We just have to stay focused on our things. That is what has worked so well so far, and there is no reason we should change that."

On Liverpool's opening goal, he said: "We used a set-piece in a fantastic way. They (players) were so smart, they used the experience from the first half from a corner for a corner in the second half.

"It's not from the training ground; it's from the dressing room at half-time, when the boys decided to do that. I love that."

Cardiff's defeat leaves them three points from safety, but rivals Brighton's daunting run-in includes fixtures against Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City.

Asked about Klopp's assertion that the pitch was dangerous, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock said: "No it wasn't. It was watered before the game.

"I see where he (Klopp) is coming from. As far as I'm aware, he (groundsman) watered the pitch before the kick-off.

Neil Warnock did not agree with Jurgen Klopp's pitch assessment
Neil Warnock did not agree with Jurgen Klopp's pitch assessment (David Davies/PA)

"They are just a good side, aren't they? There is not a weakness in their team or the bench. It's a fabulous Premier League title race this year because both sides are unbelievable."

On the penalty, which was awarded following Sean Morrison's challenge on Mohamed Salah, Warnock added: "I thought it was a soft one. He's got his arms around him and everything.

"I think the end of it was a 9.9 Tom Daley job. I don't think he could have got much higher off the diving board at the end of it. I am sure you will be saying Warnock's a moaning so-and-so again.

"We are still fighting. The players really gave their best. When you are coming up against such quality like that it's great to give them a game and give the fans one or two exciting moments."


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Cardiff City's Leandro Bacuna ictured in February 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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