LIVERPOOL — Jurgen Klopp was deflated as he discussed his red card and his crazy reaction during the huge win for his Liverpool side against Manchester City.
In a cauldron-like atmosphere at Anfield, Klopp’s 85th-minute actions resembled an exploding volcano.
[ MORE: Player ratings out of 10 ]
He first ran down the sidelines and then confronted the linesman further as he screamed in his face after Liverpool were not awarded a free kick for what Klopp believed was a foul on Mohamed Salah. He was shown a straight red card.
Even though the deliriously happy Liverpool fans at Anfield begged Klopp for his famous celebratory fist pumps as he made his way back out onto the pitch after the huge win for his injury-hit side, the German coach didn’t deliver them as his celebrations were uncharacteristically muted.
Jurgen Klopp knows he crossed the line as Anfield was whipped into a frenzy as Liverpool delivered a display which got their season back on track.
[ MORE: Reaction, analysis, what we learned ]
Asked by Pro Soccer Talk about what happened during the red card incident, Klopp held his hand up and admitted that he was wrong and tried to explain what led him to act the way he did.
Klopp explains what led to his red card meltdown
“It is emotion of course. The red card is my fault. I went over the top in the moment,” Jurgen Klopp said, almost apologetically. “I don’t think I was disrespectful to anybody but when you look at the pictures back, I know myself. I am 55 years old. The way I look in this moment is worth a red card. I already know that. Who cares what I say. I lost it in that moment. That is not okay. But I think a little bit as an excuse I would like to mention ‘how can you not whistle that foul? How on earth is it possible?’ I wish I could get an explanation.”
Klopp also took exception to Pep Guardiola saying the decision to overturn Phil Foden’s goal via VAR had to do with the game being at Anfield, even though the City manager later said he wasn’t suggesting the home fans influenced the officials.
“I’m not sure what Pep said, probably not a lot, he’s probably very disappointed and frustrated or whatever but during the game we agreed completely that Anthony Taylor would just let the game run. Why would you do that? Both teams. It was not one. I heard now people saying it ‘was Anfield’ that made it be our decision. For the foul on Mo, Anfield had no chance to have any impact. It is a foul on Fabinho and then Alisson has a hand on the ball. That is a save, how I understand it. And then Anfield decided now we are to win, imagine if he wouldn’t we would sit here and talk about three situations where he should have whistled a situation now and you think that is really unlucky.
“There was the first moment when Pep and I were pretty animated, both. But actually for the same reason. We were not arguing with each other. Not at all. And then that situation I just had the perfect view and the linesman and you can imagine we are 1-0 up and you get a free kick there or they have a counter attack there. That is pretty much a 100 percent difference. That was the moment I snapped. I am not proud of that but it happened.”
This is not the first time Klopp has reacted like this on the sidelines towards officials and although he won’t be banned for the home game against West Ham on Wednesday, he has now been charged by the FA.
Klopp will be expecting to spend time in the stands as Liverpool could be without their manager in the dugout for at least one game.
What was key to Liverpool’s win?
On the pitch, Klopp singled out James Milner and Andy Robertson for special praise, plus Joe Gomez (who had a wink and a smile for the media as he walked out of the stadium) was widely lauded for his superb display alongside the dominant Virgil van Dijk as the duo kept Erling Haaland largely quiet.
Pro Soccer Talk asked Klopp about the mentality of his Liverpool side and the performance they put in to hand Manchester City their first defeat of the Premier League season.
“I think on a normal day you should not even try against City,” Klopp smiled. “To play a normal game against them and hope you get something for it you have to play to your limits, and further. That is what we did.
“We defended in an extremely well-organized but very passionate way. Closed the right gaps and challenged in the right areas and because that still happens because that is the biggest challenge against City they still get through and still get to the touchline and still have an incredible amount of players in the box. How we defended the box and especially the six yard box was exceptional. It was a top performance from all the boys and that is why we could win it.”
Start of a comeback…
Liverpool still have a long way to claw back the 14-point gap to leaders Arsenal and then 11 points to second-place Manchester City. But this was a start. And if they do drag themselves back into the title race, we will look back at this game as the catalyst for what what got Liverpool back on track.
Jurgen Klopp saw red, and rightly so. But his side saw something more important: themselves.
This was the Liverpool we know. This was the heavy metal display they’d been missing. This was the way it should be at Liverpool.