Jurgen Klopp blames fatigue as season extends into second game

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Liverpool’s second successive Premier League draw has been blamed on the hardships of playing football for over a fortnight.

Despite the new five-substitute rule introduced, Jurgen Klopp pointed to virtually non-stop league football games his players have endured since last weekend.

“The fixture schedule is barbaric. Two matches played over the space of nine days is excessive,” said the Liverpool boss.

“We need a mid-season break. Every other major European League has one, why don’t we? These aren’t excuses, they are facts.

“It was obvious my players were drained mentally and physically, especially after witnessing the Piri Piri Andy Carroll’s home debut.

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“It felt like we were playing with ten men long before we actually ended up with ten men. This is what £85 million gets you in football nowadays.

“The way he sent the defender crashing to the floor was the cleanest connection he made all night.”