Liverpool blow chance to open 7 point EPL lead after Leicester draw

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The Reds missed the chance to open up a seven-point gap over Manchester City after the Foxes came from behind to snatch a draw.

Jurgen Klopp believes that Liverpool were denied a clear, potentially match-winning penalty after the league leaders were held to a 1-1 draw at Anfield by Leicester City in the Premier League.

The Reds missed out on the chance to extend the gap to seven points over Manchester City after Harry Maguire’s late first-half effort cancelled out Sadio Mane’s early opener.

Their point for a draw does put further breathing space between them and their main pursuers, but with the Sky Blues having fallen to defeat against Newcastle on Tuesday, the hosts will have been disappointed to have not made the most of the rivals’ unexpected gift.

Klopp however felt that the rub of the green in regards to several decisions went against his side, in particular an early foul by Maguire on Mane when the forward was through on goal.

The England international received only a booking, though many felt the decision was lenient.

“I would say it’s a 100% chance, at least,” the German told BT Sport after the match. “I think that’s something that gives you the chance. Not only was Sadio through, I’m pretty sure that Mo was on the other side.

“But Martin Atkinson thought it was not a red card, he gave a yellow card.”

Liverpool also missed out on a penalty after Atkinson adjudged that there was not enough sufficient contact in the box following a tackle by Roberto Pereira on Naby Keita almost an hour into the game.

“I don’t think you needed VAR for that,” the manager added. “I think we agree it was a penalty.”

“I don’t know what he [Atkinson] thought in that moment. I think he had the best position.

“Usually I have to explain penalties which were penalties, and you ask me if it was a soft penalty. A penalty is a penalty, there was no blood involved again today but it’s a penalty because one of our players is in the box. It is like it is. It won’t change.”

Klopp however says that while he felt the Foxes’ equaliser saw the visitors ride their luck, he accepts that his own side failed to take the game to them and suffered the consequences of not doing so.

“You have to take it how it is,” he further told reporters after the match.

“To break down a side like Leicester, you have to accelerate, to speed up in decisive areas. I don’t know why, but we didn’t do that. Then we gave a goal away. You pay for your mistakes.

“We put them under pressure in the last ten minutes but you have to say Leicester did really well.

“We were unlucky with the goal in the last second before half-time.

“It doesn’t feel brilliant. It was a much more open game in the second half.”

Klopp however stressed that despite his frustration at missing out on the three points, the result still proves a boost to his side’s title credentials as they look to dethrone Pep Guardiola’s Citizens – and that he is not focused on the margin between the two.

“I am disappointed we didn’t win the game,” he added. “We want to win football games.

“But it means nothing with regards to Man City. It is a point more than we had.

“We have a few days to prepare for West Ham, and we go again. That’s what we do, not counting points and hoping for gaps between us and other teams.

“We have to win our football games. That didn’t happen tonight and we are not happy about it.”

Liverpool will next look to preserve the gap at the top when they travel to the Hammers on Monday.