Following Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with West Brom at Anfield on Sunday evening, Jurgen Klopp marched to his players and rejected a handshake with Tony Pulis, only performing the ritual with his assistant Dave Kemp when the West Brom man actively pursued him.
Naturally, it’s made the headlines, but our manager was keen to play the incident down – insisting that his focus was on his players who’d just secured a 96th minute equaliser in front of the Kop.
“I haven’t shaken hands with Tony Pulis, I didn’t see him. I can’t say anything because I only talk about football,” Klopp said when asked about the altercation, reported in the Echo.
“I can’t remember it, I haven’t the biggest talent to remember things like this. I wanted to go to my team.
“Really do with this what you want. We had some words during the game, sometimes it needs longer than a few seconds to cool down.
“If you want to make a big story with this, please go ahead. Sometimes with me it is like this, do what you want.
“Usually I shake hands, today I did not. It was not a friendly game, everybody saw it. I wish him (Pulis) all the best.”
Klopp’s comments that it wasn’t a ‘friendly game’ are accurate. West Brom fought tooth and nail, but more than once crossed the line. Dejan Lovren left the field on a stretcher after a dangerous Craig Dawson challenge, and the Baggies’ time-wasting tactics were irritating to say the least.
Klopp was manic on the touchline as the game neared its end, urging Anfield to push his side on. They responded, and it’s almost inconceivable that Liverpool didn’t win yesterday after dominating West Brom for nearly the entire 90.
Since the German took over, Liverpool have played four Premier League matches at Anfield – but have only won once – drawing to Southampton and West Brom and losing to Crystal Palace. For us to achieve our targets this term, we badly need to be beating sides of that calibre at home.