Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp Criticizes LASK Pitch After 3-1 Win
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had some criticism for LASK’s Raiffeisen Arena pitch after the Reds’ 3-1 win on Thursday night. Despite the victory, Klopp noted that the pitch was “really bad” and that it had an effect on the game. LASK have since responded to the comments, acknowledging the problems with the pitch.
After the match, Klopp called the pitch “really bad” and said the hosts “suffered much less” due to their lack of possession. Liverpool had 68 percent possession on the night, and therefore had to contend with the uneven bounce of the ball more often.
LASK have since responded to comments from Liverpool, acknowledging the problems. Via Volksblatt, the club said: “It is a construction defect in the substructure. This causes problems with the drainage of the place. We are aware of the issue, it cannot be solved in one day because this is only possible step by step. We hope it can be resolved by October.”
Impact on Future Matches
If the pitch is fixed in time for their remaining home group fixtures, it should benefit visiting teams if they have more possession than the hosts. It would also help future away sides as LASK would no longer have the advantage of being more accustomed to the unpredictable bounce.
Having said that, a torn-up pitch does undoubtedly make a difference to what style best suits a team on the day. Despite opening earlier this year, Klopp hasn’t been the only one to criticise the state of the Raiffeisen Arena’s pitch. Volksblatt also reported that the Austrian national team “recently complained about this during international matches.” Austria drew 1-1 against Moldova at the stadium on September 7, in the most recent of three matches they have played at the new ground.
Liverpool were able to overcome the poor quality of LASK’s pitch and come away with a 3-1 victory, but it’s clear that the state of the surface had an effect on the game. It remains to be seen if LASK will be able to fix their pitch in time for their remaining home fixtures, but it’s clear that they are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it.