There is relief at Liverpool that Joe Gomez is not out for longer
Follow your club now for first access to all our news, views and analysis
Liverpool’s hopes of winning silverware this season have suffered a major setback with the news that right-back Joe Gomez broke his left leg during Wednesday night’s 3-1 Premier League victory at Burnley and could be sidelined for up to six weeks.
The England international, who has been a key figure in Liverpool’s defence this season, had to leave the field after just 24 minutes after being first upended by Ashley Westwood and then bundled into the advertising hoardings by a robust sliding challenge from Ben Mee. Both tackles were sound tracked by a huge roar of appreciation from the home supporters, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left raging and said referee Stuart Attwell should have given his players more protection.
“I said to ref please, tell them you cannot do that,” said Klopp. “The crowd love it, yes, but the players they are not in control. Somebody needs to tell them not to do it from six or seven yards. I think the referee has to make sure that things like this don’t happen constantly. It’s not how it should be. Let’s play football.”
Klopp’s worst fears over the injury were confirmed by a scan on Thursday morning. In a statement, the club said: “Liverpool can confirm Joe Gomez sustained a fracture to the lower left leg during the 3-1 win at Burnley on Wednesday night.
“The defender needed to be substituted after 23 minutes at Turf Moor following a challenge from which he was unable to continue.
“Gomez’s injury was further assessed by the Reds’ medical team at Melwood on Thursday.
Newsletter Promotion – Chris Bascombe's Liverpool briefing
“Initial indications suggest the 21-year-old is facing a spell of up to six weeks out of action, though this is dependent on how his treatment and rehabilitation programmes progress.”
A six-week absence would keep Gomez out until mid-January. Liverpool, who are two points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and battling to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, face nine games between now and then.
Klopp’s opposite number Sean Dyche, however, claimed to have been left baffled by the German’s anger. He insisted that the tally of only one yellow card issued to any of his players suggested there was nothing illegal in the tackles.
“I was a bit confused,” he said at his press conference ahead of Burnley’s now critical fixture at home to Brighton on Saturday. Burnley are in the bottom three and trail Chris Hughton’s side by 12 points.
“There were some excellent tackles. The only one that was questionable was Bardo’s [Phil Bardsley, who was penalised with a free kick after a sharp challenge on James Milner]. Ben Mee’s was a fantastic tackle and I think Gomez realised that. We send him our best if there is any injury, but it wasn’t from a bad tackle.”