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A Full Breakdown Of Liverpool's 'False Positive' Covid Tests Before Arsenal First Leg Has Emerged

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A Full Breakdown Of Liverpool's 'False Positive' Covid Tests Before Arsenal First Leg Has Emerged

An in-depth report has broken down Liverpool's postponed Carabao Cup first leg tie with Arsenal - which will finally take place tonight.

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Liverpool requested the game earlier this month be postponed and cited a Covid outbreak among players and backroom staff.

Three days later, the Reds played Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup and manager Jurgen Klopp said the players affected were 'not eligible' for the game due to 'false positive' tests.

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The Athletic have now concluded the game didn't need to be called off and boiled it down to the bullet points below.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Be prepared to have your mind warped:

  • Liverpool decided to send their players for precautionary PCR tests using a laboratory called BioGrad after a round of negative lateral flow tests
  • Liverpool requested the postponement before knowing the results from this additional round of testing
  • Liverpool conducted this additional testing because they were fearful of a second outbreak at the club, but it went beyond what was needed to get the tie played
  • Positive results were then returned for 13 players
  • When these erroneous tests were discounted, neither the club or any of the other authorities in the process highlighted that development publicly
  • Klopp’s incorrect terminology triggered the EFL into thinking it might have to open an investigation. However it is clear that Liverpool had no motive to get the game called off
  • Some Liverpool players were unhappy and frustrated they were unable to play in two games and were forced into isolation, away from their families, despite not having COVID-19
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If the entire saga sounds like a mess, it's because it is.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

The club returned negative tests and after believing them to be wrong, they asked for fresh tests to be completed.

Fresh tests returned positive results, but these ones were faulty.

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This wasn't made public knowledge and it meant the game could be postponed.

The whole saga started prior to a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on January 2.

Alisson, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino missed the game after testing positive as did Klopp.

Assistant Pep Lijnders stepped in and between Monday and Tuesday, he and other members of the backroom staff tested positive for Covid.

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One of the players who started vs Chelsea also tested positive.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Liverpool were worried about an outbreak in the squad and they were set to travel to London once again and face Arsenal.

They opted to use a different company to what the Premier League uses when sourcing their second batch of Covid tests.

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It meant results would be returned slower and not be available until 24 hours before the match - when Liverpool would be playing away.

Liverpool requested a postponement before these results had been returned and shut their AXA Training Centre.

13 positive tests were returned, but faulty, and that saw Klopp use the phrase 'false positive' after beating Shrewsbury.

One source described the entire situation as: "A mix of a monumental ‘f**k-up’’, a whole dose of bad luck and a mess of a PR strategy.”

The game will finally take place tonight with the scores locked at 0-0 following last week's clash at Anfield.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Liverpool, Arsenal

Daniel Marland
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