Jurgen Klopp explained his touchline row with Mikel Arteta was because the Spaniard and his coaching staff attempted to get Sadio Mane sent off during Liverpool’s 4-0 demolition of Arsenal.
Mane, who has only scored more Premier League goals against Crystal Palace (13) than he has against Arsenal (eight), netted the opener in the first half at Anfield, before Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino sealed an emphatic win for the Reds, who moved up to second place.
The Senegal forward’s header came shortly after an altercation between the managers on the sidelines, after Mane had been involved in a collision with Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Arteta and his staff were furious, seemingly suggesting Mane had intentionally elbowed the Arsenal defender. Klopp retaliated, with some verbal tennis taking place between the pair before referee Michael Oliver came over to settle the fracas, booking both managers.
8 – Only versus Crystal Palace (13) has Sadio Mane scored more Premier League goals than he has against Arsenal (8), finding the net in five of his six such games at Anfield (5 goals). Opener. #LIVARS
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 20, 2021
Asked about the incident by Sky Sports, Klopp said: “It was about the situation that it was no foul from Sadio but the Arsenal bench went up like it was a red card. I asked what they want in that situation.
“We had to take Sadio off against Atletico [Madrid in the Champions League] because they wanted him to get a yellow card.
“The referee did really well in this situation, I deserved a yellow card. It wasn’t okay and that is what I said. It just happened in the moment.”
Arteta, too, was asked for an explanation.
“He was defending his team, I was defending my team, that’s it,” he told Sky Sports. “It doesn’t matter. These moments are left on the pitch.”
Under Klopp, Liverpool have scored more Premier League goals against Arsenal (37) than one side has against another since October 2015.
They had their 25-game unbeaten run ended by West Ham last time out, but put the onus back on Manchester City, who will need to beat Everton on Sunday to go back into second behind leaders Chelsea.
“We grew into the game,” Klopp added. “It was not always a super game it was just a controlled game. We had to find way to break them down. They were full of confidence. We found a way back in the game and it was a super performance all over.
“All the games are opportunities for us. It was an exceptional performance. We got better and better.
“We controlled the game in a good way and played exciting stuff in the right moments. It was a mixture of a mature and exciting performance. In games like this it’s important you keep your opponent as far away from your goal as possible and be decisive in the other areas.
“This league is incredibly intense. Now the most intense part of the season is ahead of us. December and January will be insane. We have players coming back, but the boys who played today did really well and did exactly what they had to do.
“It feels great because it was really good, we should never take something like this for granted. You have to fight through different phases in a game and in a season. It’s another point from when we go on.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!