Jurgen Klopp, as expected, resisted the temptation to bite back at Ronald Koeman’s criticism of the Liverpool bench following Saturday’s feisty Merseyside derby.
Anfield played stage to not only an emphatic Liverpool win but also some horrendous Everton challenges that at one point sparked a brief altercation between Klopp and Everton boss Koeman on the side-lines.
The Reds boss reacted angrily to a Ross Barkley tackle that could have seriously injured Dejan Lovren, only for the Everton coaching staff to show the same fury towards Klopp’s appeals. Something they will have probably realised was completely unjustified after seeing Barkley’s challenge back again.
Koeman took to his post-match interview to criticise the Reds bench for supposedly trying to get eight of his players sent off.
Klopp, understandably more happy after watching his side secure all three points, told the Liverpool Echo: “Obviously we couldn’t influence anything, even when we were loud.”
“I have said it before. In Germany it’s nicer (between managers). We sit together here. If he would say something I could react, and the same for him.”
“He (Koeman) didn’t say anything to me, we shook hands after the game. It’s not my job to speak about him.”
“My staff is fine, really good boys if you would meet them one time! They are involved in the game, don’t ask for anything that is not right.”
“Sometimes we have the tinted glasses, but sometimes it is clear. In a game like this, we want to be hard, wanted all the players to leave the pitch without injuries.”
Though it seems pointless saying it over and over again, Everton should not have finished the match with eleven players on the pitch. We are lucky not to have come away from the game with more than one injury.
Tough tackling is inevitable in such a high-profile derby but it becomes a different issue when players are potentially being ruled out of action, especially at this stage of the season.
A classy response from Klopp, as ever.