Jurgen Klopp celebrates after Liverpool's Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield, Liverpool, April 2023.

Jurgen Klopp’s hamstring twang was result of middle-age & karma

Billions of people around the world believe in karma, the concept of action, work or deed, and its effect or consequences – but never has it been more evident than at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

In Indian religions, the term more specifically refers to a principle of cause and effect, often descriptively called the principle of karma, wherein the intent and actions of an individual are the cause, and the influence they have upon the future of that individual is the effect.

As Jurgen Klopp puts his feet up tonight, perhaps nursing an Erdinger and sense of bafflement after Liverpool’s unhinged 4-3 victory over Tottenham at Anfield, perhaps he’ll nurse a wry smile and chuckle at the events immediately following Diogo Jota’s winning goal.

Klopp was behaving with the nervous energy of a teenager about to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time as Spurs threatened an improbable comeback in the second half.

After racing into a 3-0 lead, the Anfield crowd must have mentally added the three points to Liverpool’s Premier League tally and started comparing fixtures with fellow Champions League challengers Manchester United and Newcastle.

But Tottenham, after weeks of intense soul-searching, finally located their backbone with goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. 3-2. The victory champagne was put on ice.

Klopp channelled Louis van Gaal just before the clock ticked to 90 minutes, throwing himself to the floor with theatric abandon after Mohamed Salah was penalised for a foul during a potentially game-killing counter-attack.

Worse was to come; in the third minute of injury time, Richarlison nutted a header into the floor and over a despairing Alisson to level the scores.

The resulting Brazilian chicken dance, like a 12-year-old’s attempt at imitating a Zimmer-framed Snoop Dogg, and the crowing of the away supporters must have caused Klopp to grind his veneers into a fine white powder.

But redemption was on hand; Lucas Moura played a pinpoint pass through to Jota, whose ice-cool finish clinched the points that Liverpool had secured after 15 minutes before throwing away.

The only explanation for Moura’s rush of blood is that he must have been watching highlights of England’s Euro 2004 match against France in his hotel room last night.

Specifically, the moment Steven Gerrard split the England defence with a pass to an unmarked Thierry Henry to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

But Klopp didn’t have time to ruminate on explanations for the game’s seventh goal. He was busy giving the fourth official the kind of earful normally reserved for harried dads returning from a brief errand to find a parking ticket slapped on their windscreen.

In all the excitement, the Liverpool manager forgot he’s one of the Premier League’s elder statesmen these days. As he pogoed up and down, Klopp felt his hamstring stretch like a melted cheese string, adding pain to the myriad of emotions running through him at that moment.

He hobbled away, clasping his hand to the sore area, while gurning madly in an attempt to save face. No dice, Jurgen. If only You’ve Been Framed was still around…

By Michael Lee

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