Even without its manager and champions League heroes, Liverpool reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Jurgen Klopp did everything right once again.
Where Jurgen Klopp was really during his Mini Reds’ memorable game on Tuesday night remained open. Probably at home on the couch. At least not at Anfield Road. But Kloppo was not gone. “He sent us a message at half-time and also an immediately after,” Klopp assistant Neil Critchley said after Liverpool’s 1-0 draw in the FA Cup replay against third-level Shrewsbury Town.
And when the entry into the quarter-finals was perfect, Klopp could be heard again. “I’m delighted,” said the former Dortmund manager. The manager of the Premier League’s sovereign leader’s team had once again done everything right with his rigorous renunciation. In order to give his star team a recovery period of almost two weeks in the face of extreme pressures in the Championship and the Champions League, Klopp has left the “big” and “small” running.
Liverpool FC: James Milner backs mini-Reds in FA Cup coup
Of his best players, no one really sat on the bench for the blanket, only one sitting behind them – in the stands. Vice-captain James Milner did not fail to support the young talents. “He also trained with them the day before,” Critchley said, “and gave them advice.”
But Klopp wouldn’t be Klopp either if the motivational artist hadn’t also set the B-team with a treat. He told the team that one or two players could play for Chelsea in the next round as a reward. Then they ruined everything,” Critchley said.
It worked: Liverpool B prevailed thanks to a goal from the visitors, who surprisingly took a 2-2 lead in Liverpool A’s away win. At least the setting of the famous Anfield Road was dignified. 52,399 spectators completely filled the stadium. However, the Reds had also significantly reduced ticket prices, with children paying only one pound (1.20 euro).
The guests were uncomfortable with the action, as their share of total income was significantly lower than expected. “We only get a fraction of what we would normally get,” Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts said with disappointment, “we could have invested the money in our infrastructure.” But Ricketts conceded, “At least we have more than without the return game.” Also many more titles – thanks to Juergen Klopp.