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Hodgson reflects on Anfield defeat and Zaha concern

24 June 2020

Roy Hodgson is nervously waiting on the results of a scan on Wilfried Zaha's calf, as he reflected on a tough night on Merseyside for his squad.

Zaha was removed from action after just 14 minutes, and when pressed for the initial view, Hodgson confirmed that it is a calf issue that is cause for concern for the forward. But he confirmed it is too soon to know the extent of the damage, commenting: “We’re in tomorrow morning and they [Zaha and Christian Benteke, who missed the match] will be assessed further, and I imagine both will be assessed up until Sunday – the day before Burnley.

“Benteke definitely has a strain that has been scanned and diagnosed, so I think he will be battling to get ready for that one. With Wilf we don’t know extent of damage – so until we get that scan on him, we’re on a wing of a prayer, and hoping we won’t be without the pair of them again.”

Reflecting on a challenging evening at Anfield, where the hosts dominated possession and finished clinically, Hodgson said: "They play with such intensity and power. We really couldn’t retain possession, they pressurised so well - any attacks we would have liked to have mounted fizzled out very early on.

"As a result, it was a constant pressure on the midfield and back players. I thought they held out well until just before half-time, but that second goal was decisive – it put them very much in the driving seat. The third goal put the game to bed and left us clinging on trying to make certain we didn’t get embarrassed even more than the four goals that did embarrass us.

"Up until 3-0, it wasn’t as if they were creating chance after chance. But they were dominating the game, and most importantly of all they were winning the ball back so quickly. We just couldn’t establish any sort of rhythm or possession in our game. As a result, when a team has that amount of possession and the quality of players they have - chances are going to be created. And they've got the players to take those chances."

Finally, Hodgson was asked for his view on Liveprool's season in general, and was full of praise for Jurgen Klopp's men, saying: "They've been excellent. That moment [they are crowned champions] will arrive soon, quite simply because they are not going to lose any matches - they won't stop winning. Their determination and desire tonight in a game when you could have argued they could have taken it a little bit easy because they weren't put under real pressure from us, we didn’t see that. Even in the last four or five minutes – they are desperately chasing every ball down, winning it back and trying to score again. With that type of attitude and desire there is no doubt title is theirs, the big question is by how many points it is going to be, and I can only congratulate them on a wonderful season - two seasons really."


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