Peter Schmeichel claims Jurgen Klopp "killed" Dejan Lovren with first-half substitution
Peter Schmeichel has accused Jurgen Klopp of throwing one of his players under the bus during a terrible afternoon for Liverpool.
Klopp's team fell to a 4-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. Spurs were brilliant on the counter-attack, and Liverpool's defence suffered a complete meltdown. Simon Mignolet made errors for at least two of Tottenham's goals, while Dejan Lovren had possibly the worst game of his career.
The Croatian defender tried to play offside and was caught out for Harry Kane's first goal, and made a serious error for Spurs' second goal.
"Where has this come from? I get tweeted this all the time!" https://t.co/jk5t44XUdl
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) October 22, 2017
Lovren gambled and missed the ball when Hugo Lloris threw it towards the England striker. Kane was left with the entire Liverpool half to run into before passing for Heung-Min Son to score. Mo Salah pulled a goal back for the visitors, but Spurs scored twice more to run out comfortable winners.
But, from Liverpool's point of view, every goal at Wembley was preventable.
Following the match, Klopp blamed "really bad, bad, bad defending" for his team's heavy loss.
"The whole game the whole result was all our fault," the Liverpool manager said.
"Tottenham was good, they needed to be good, but we made it much too easy for them. The first goal was a little throw in and we are not really there. It was just really bad, bad, bad defending. The second, a counter attack, when the ball passes Dejan Lovren it is already too late. Coming back in the game with the goal we had our chances, but it's nothing to talk about today."
The Liverpool manager didn't protect his players in interviews following the game, and he has been accused of throwing Lovren under the bus by Schmeichel. Klopp substituted Lovren for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after 31 minutes. To many, this seemed to be an act of mercy as much as a tactical change. The defender was having a terrible game and it didn't appear like he was going to improve as the match went on. Klopp made a tough call which many managers would have made in his position.
However, Schmeichel said the Liverpool manager "killed" his player with the decision.
"It's very important to underline that he never said anything to him and he's killed that player," the former Manchester United goalkeeper said on punditry duty.
"And in fact it hasn't helped, they are still defending like it's their first time ever. The way they defended today and have been defending all season is so naive and Jurgen Klopp needs to take responsibility. What he's done now is put all of the responsibility on to Lovren. He will now be in the headlines for this, and that's really unfair. It should be the manager."
Does Schmeichel have a point? Or was Klopp right to take Lovren off? Either way, it won't be a surprise to see the defender rested for a few games after Sunday's performance.