Mohamed Salah and Jurgen Klopp clash as Liverpool's title hopes take another hit

Egyptian star and Reds boss argue on touchline during 2-2 draw at West Ham

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Jurgen Klopp was involved in a heated touchline row with Mohamed Salah during a 2-2 draw at West Ham which put another big dent into Liverpool's slim Premier League title hopes.

Salah, left out of the starting line-up for Saturday's must-win game, was called from the bench by Klopp in the 79th minute after Michail Antonio had equalised for West Ham.

The Egypt forward exchanged angry words with his manager, with fellow substitute Darwin Nunez having to step in and calm the situation.

After the game, Klopp refused to elaborate on the matter, saying: "No [I can't say what was said], but we spoke about it already in the dressing room. That's done."

Asked about the incident as he left the stadium, Salah was reported to have said: "If I speak today there will be fire."

It was an ugly footnote to another unconvincing performance from Liverpool, who are closing in on the appointment of Arne Slot to succeed Klopp next term.

A Jarrod Bowen header put the hosts in front but Klopp's side turned things around thanks to an Andy Robertson goal and a chaotic West Ham own goal.

But Antonio’s booming late header meant more dropped points as the climax to Klopp’s final season in charge looks like fizzling out.

The German added: "Very disappointed, obviously. I think everyone can see that only one team wins the game, and that is us with the chances we created, with the possession we had, with all the things we did. It was a tough one at the end of a four games in 10 days period, but I think the players did really well.

"We just conceded out of nothing and need a few more chances and kind of scrappy goals in the end to score twice. When we are 2-1 up we could control it, and still as I said in a lot of moments playing really well but the final situation we didn't take. That has been the story of the last four weeks."

Liverpool did not start the game like title contenders in a pedestrian first half that had a distinctly end of season feel about it. The visitors did see plenty of possession before Harvey Elliott's first-time shot crashed into the side-netting.

Liverpool were then awarded a penalty after Angelo Ogbonna clipped Cody Gakpo but Luis Diaz was offside, with a VAR check confirming the assistant’s decision.

Gakpo might have done better when he was set up by Diaz only to blaze his shot over the bar, and then Diaz’s shot struck Alphonse Areola’s near post.

But with two minutes to go before the break, Liverpool were caught out by a quickly-taken corner. Mohammed Kudus lifted the ball into the box and Bowen guided his header just out of the reach of Alisson.

Liverpool hit back after the restart when Diaz squared the ball into the area for Robertson. The Scotland full-back took a touch before hitting a shot which Areola might have saved at his near post.

Then came a bizarre own goal as Gakpo scuffed a shot and a series of deflections - three in total - took the ball past Areola.

Liverpool were back in front and on course for a much-needed win, but Bowen got in down the right and crossed for Antonio to head home.

Hammers boss David Moyes was pleased with his side's effort.

He said: "I would have liked more than a point, we've drawn a lot and today is another. It is a good point and to be 2-1 down and take a battering, we did great to keep going.

"[We scored] really good goals. I enjoyed them. Jarrod [Bowen] is in goalscoring form. Congratulations to him on 20 goals in all competitions. I think it is a long time since someone has done that at West Ham. He is a fantastic player. I hope he keeps going."

Updated: April 27, 2024, 6:49 PM