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Jurgen Klopp on whether the Premier League needs to be halted after Liverpool beat Newcastle

Liverpool made light of the Covid-enforced absences of Virgil Van Dijk and Fabinho to comfortably beat struggling Newcastle 3-1 at Anfield.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp REUTERS/Peter Powell

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp REUTERS/Peter Powell

Kevin Palmer

Jurgen Klopp admitted the Premier League faces an uncertain future as Covid-19 outbreaks across most clubs is threatening to bring the season to a halt, but he does not believe the moment has come to call a halt to the action.

Liverpool made light of the Covid-enforced absences of Virgil Van Dijk and Fabinho to comfortably beat struggling Newcastle 3-1 at Anfield and become the first English side in history to register 2,000 top-flight victories.

Mohamed Salah equalled Jamie Vardy’s record of providing a goal or an assist in 15 consecutive Premier League appearances with his 22nd strike of the season after Diogo Jota had equalised former Reds midfielder Jonjo Shelvey’s early effort.

Trent Alexander-Arnold made sure of the three points during the unnecessarily tense closing stages with a 25-yard blast.

Yet it was the debate over what happens next in the Premier League that dominated the agenda after the game, with Reds boss Klopp conceding a football shutdown may now be inevitable.

"We are really concerned about the other stuff around the world," said Klopp. "So far football kept it pretty much outside with the testing regimes, the massive disciplinary things for the boys did really well, but this time it is really difficult.

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"My boys are double vaccinated, some boosted, but you can still get it, so it was not cool to get the information this morning the boys were not available.

"But knowing they are all vaccinated means they will be fine after however many days they isolate. Players' and people's welfare is the most important thing at the moment."

Klopp went on to suggest the Premier League should not be suspended, but he made a proposal to change the rules of competitions like the Carabao Cup.

"Stopping the league is probably not the right thing but with the schedule we have to be more flexible," he continued. "We can talk about cup competitions, do we really need to play two semi-finals, play replays, all these sorts of things.

"It's a really tricky situation. Nobody knows exactly how we'll be tomorrow.

"We will go to the training centre until people tell us otherwise. I've never had three players on matchday (have to pull out). The most important thing is because the boys are vaccinated they will not feel it really. That's good. We have to wait for them.

"If we should stop the league, I have no real answer for it. If you stop it for two weeks and we come back, I really don't know what to do."

Diogo Jota of Liverpool scores their side's first goal past Martin Dubravka of Newcastle United. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Diogo Jota of Liverpool scores their side's first goal past Martin Dubravka of Newcastle United. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Amid the concern over the positive Covid cases, Klopp was pleased to cash in on Chelsea dropping points against a much-changed Everton side in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

"I didn't expect Chelsea would drop points, it is pretty rare I don't know five or six players of the Everton line up so to get a point at Chelsea is massive," he added.

"Now we hope to play Tottenham on Sunday. Let's see who is available for the weekend."

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