Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson pronounced himself and his teammates bemused by referee Lee Mason’s decision to blow for halftime with six seconds of added time still to be played in the 0-0 draw with Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday. With 45 minutes and 54 seconds on the clock and a minute of added time having been added, Mason proceeded to bring the half to its conclusion despite Liverpool seemingly being on the attack. A lofted through pass from midfield was being chased down by Sadio Mane just as the whistle blew.
Jurgen Klopp fumed on the touchline as the players made their way back down the tunnel and club captain Henderson, who impressed in an unorthodox center-back role alongside fellow midfielder Fabinho, noted that the hosts were far from pleased to have been denied what could have been an excellent goal scoring chance.
“We weren’t happy about that,” Henderson told Sky Sports, “strange, very strange. I think he’s through on goal if he doesn’t blow that.
“We were frustrated at halftime but there was still plenty of time for us to score the goal but we lacked that quality in the last bit.”
In the match’s other 90 minutes there was little that Liverpool did to suggest that they might score with the goalless draw meaning that Klopp’s side have now gone three games without scoring in the Premier League. Despite having 65 percent possession on their home ground they drew only three saves from goalkeeper David de Gea, with Roberto Firmino spurning the best chance in the 34th minute.
For all their recent difficulties in front of goal Liverpool remain the top scoring side in the Premier League this season with 37 goals from their first 18 games, keeping up that rate of scoring would give them 78 for a full campaign, seven fewer than the managed when they won the title last season.
Klopp insists there is little cause for concern and said: “There is no easy explanation [for the goalscoring struggles]. You always miss chances. You have to keep going and try to ignore the talk around it. Everyone wants to see goals. You cannot force it.
“It’s football. These moments happen. You have moments where you can’t explain why you score from all angles.
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Against Crystal Palace [where Liverpool won 7-0] everything ended up in the net. It’s a bit annoying in between these moments. I like the game. I saw a lot of really good individual performances and the team performance was good. Not the result we wanted, but the result we got.”