Cody Gakpo Looks Menacing In His Preferred Position as Jürgen Klopp Laments Decision Again in 2-0 Burnley Win
It was a memorable Boxing Day for the Reds as Cody Gakpo looked much more like the player we saw in the 2022 FIFA World Cup as he dictated play for Liverpool in his preferred left winger position and rightfully earned his MOTM award against second-to-last Burnley. The victory means Liverpool have won every Boxing Day fixture under Jürgen Klopp, with seven straight wins. However, despite much to celebrate, Jürgen Klopp continued to feel dumbfounded by the decisions against his team as he saw Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott’s goals on either half chalked off by VAR.
Cody Gakpo Marked His 50th Appearance for the Club in Scintillating Style
Since his headlining move to join Liverpool ahead of Manchester United, Cody Gakpo has featured in every attacking position for the Reds, be it as a right winger, left winger, central forward or striker. While modern football does require players who can play in multiple positions, some players are more suitable to their designated role, which is the case for Cody Gakpo.
Today, his impressive performance against the Clarets effectively left manager Jürgen Klopp with no choice but to continue using him on the left wing. For instance, he displayed sheer athleticism and aggressiveness against Burnley’s defence, as he demonstrated his prowess inside six minutes with a brilliant one-two with Darwin Núñez coordination before the Uruguayan striker confidently scored from outside the box. Then, he tormented the defence with his directness and set up Salah and Núñez for more, but James Trafford came equal with some heroic saves.
The day could have gone even better for Cody Gakpo as he scored on his second attempt after Trafford parried his first shot away, but the referee stepped it and ruled out the goal for a foul during the build-up. Evidence later shows that Paul Tierney made the decision immediately after Gakpo scored, and VAR intervened by showing the replay, which saw little contact made on the foul. However, due to insufficient evidence, Tierney did not overturn his decision. Nevertheless, Cody Gakpo performed superbly in his 50th appearance and left the pitch to a massive round of applause from the fans.
Jürgen Klopp Frustrated With Cody Gakpo’s Disallowed Goal and Var Decisions Again
It’s the same old story for Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool regarding controversial refereeing decisions as the German manager made his intention known again. “Why do referees create their own view on something? We all watch football and need the referee, but we need them to make the right interpretations of the rules. It’s like, wow. Handball is sometimes handball and all these kinds of things.”
“The goal for Darwin was as important as the second. Gakpo scored again, Harvey scored an incredible goal, and they just took it away. It’s really, really tough. But we won the game, and it’s all fine. We could have got it easier, but as long as I’ve been at Liverpool, we never did it the easy way. So why should we stop with that now.”
As for the chances capitalised between this match and the previous few, Klopp replied: ” We created a lot of chances recently and didn’t use an awful lot of them. But in the end, it’s all about performing. It’s the fourth game in 10 days, and whatever the body is doing, how you lose focus, you’re not as precise anymore. You just have to get through it. We got through it, and now we have five days until the next game, and it feels like we should go on holiday. The boys have two days off. I told them before the game if we win, we have two days off – I saw my two days off slipping through my fingers!”
Can Liverpool Stay at the Top at the End of the Season?
While it is only temporary, Liverpool can celebrate being top of the table with Arsenal playing West Ham on the 29th, and if Arsenal failed to win, they would go into the New Year as first. However, what Liverpool fans are actually anticipating is seeing Liverpool staying there at the end of the season.
Can they do it? With their performance, they definitely are in the shout for title contention, but capitalising opportunities could play a massive factor in their trophy quest. Throwback to their failed 5v1 situation against Arsenal and failure to score against a wounded Manchester United, it seems Liverpool might just lack the killing blow in this season’s title charge.
However, Arsenal are prone to bottling near the end of the season, and Manchester City will need some more time for Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland to function again. Thus, it may come down to luck, and Liverpool would hope some decision would go their way. For more footballing news, follow AsiaSport for daily coverage during this busy holiday season.