By Toby Davis
REUTERS – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has probably not celebrated too many draws with quite the fervour that he greeted Divock Origi’s stoppage time leveller to grab a point at home to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
The German would have been forgiven for lamenting another costly result and two more dropped points, but instead greeted the conclusion to a bad-tempered 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield with trademark enthusiasm.
Having appeared to snub a handshake with West Brom boss Tony Pulis, he joined his players in front of the Kop, with arms raised to celebrate Origi’s 96th-minute goal and salute the noise that greeted the hosts’ efforts in the closing stages.
Some older supporters at Anfield, who were fed a diet of success for two decades in the 1970s and 80s, might have raised eyebrows at the apparently joyous scenes.
Klopp, however, said that he and the players were merely recognising the “special atmosphere” inside Anfield.
“It was the best atmosphere since I came here,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “Of course, people are disappointed, but they didn’t let us feel that. They saw that the lads tried everything and played football.”
Liverpool, who moved up one place to ninth, five points off fourth spot, took the lead when a well-worked move ended with captain Jordan Henderson, making his first league start since August, ghosting into the area to sweep home in the 21st minute.
The home side’s positive start was undone, however, when goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who received the enthusiastic backing of his manager earlier in the season, misjudged a corner to gift an equaliser to Albion’s Craig Dawson on the half-hour.
When Jonas Olsson, who earlier had a goal disallowed, put Albion in front after 73 minutes, Liverpool looked to be staring a second straight league loss in the face before Origi tried his luck with a speculative effort that was deflected into the net.
Klopp avoided Pulis at fulltime, but said it had nothing to do with Craig Gardner’s tackle on Dejan Lovren that forced the Liverpool defender off the pitch with a badly gashed knee.
“We (Klopp and Pulis) had some words in the game and sometimes it takes more than a few seconds to cool down,” Klopp said. “Usually I shake hands. It was not a friendly game.”
Lovren, who was carried off on a stretcher with his leg in a brace, will have a scan to determine the extent of the injury.
“He (Gardner) played the ball a millisecond before he hit Dejan,” Klopp said. “If he didn’t play the ball, we don’t have to talk about this.
“We hope the injury is not too serious. We have to wait for the scan. I spoke to him and he said it felt not too bad.”
(Reporting by Toby Davis in London; editing by Ken Ferris)