Reds' Matip blow
Liverpool were dealt a blow in the lead-up to yesterday's match when centre-half Joel Matip was forced to withdraw from the squad because Fifa failed to confirm his availability.
Matip retired from international football last year and was not named in Cameroon's squad for the African Cup of Nations but Liverpool have been seeking confirmation from Fifa that he is eligible while the tournament is in progress. The absence of a such a guarantee meant the Merseyside club were reluctant to play him.
Matip has not played since the 2-2 draw at home to West Ham last month. The former Schalke defender missed seven matches with injury before yesterday. He has not played for Cameroon for over a year after a disagreement and said in September that he did not wish to be considered for the African Cup of Nations. Liverpool were under the impression Matip had retired from international football but Cameroon coach Hugo Broos appears reluctant to accept the decision. (© Daily Telegraph, London)