Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp welcomed the competitive nature of his side’s International Champions Cup clash with Chelsea on Wednesday.
Klopp watched on at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena as his side went down 1-0 to their Premier League rivals, courtesy of Gary Cahill’s 10th-minute header.
Chelsea finished the exhibition match with 10 men after Cesc Fabregas was given a straight red card for a dangerous lunge on Ragnar Klavan, while there were six cautions – five for Liverpool – in a hotly-contested affair.
“It was normal intensity with a few hard challenges, that’s how it is,” Klopp said. “All of the players are not in 100 per cent shape so are sometimes a little bit late in the challenges, that’s how it is.
“The ref thought from the beginning he should show early yellow cards. I don’t think it was too hard.
“It was far away from a friendly game and that’s OK, that’s why we are here.”
On Fabregas’ dismissal, Klopp said: “It’s a red card. He came by us in the dressing room and said sorry.
“He came too late in the challenge, of course. Sometimes in life if you are too late you get a red card, especially in football. That’s how it was.”
Klopp also revealed that Marko Grujic had been taken to hospital with suspected concussion following a clash of heads with Bertrand Traore.