Jurgen Klopp felt the officials during Liverpool’s 1-1 Premier League draw at West Ham tried to make up for a poor error in the first half.
Liverpool’s opening goal at London Stadium on Monday, converted by Sadio Mane, should have been disallowed for an offside against James Milner in the build-up.
Michail Antonio equalised within six minutes but Liverpool almost snatched a controversial late winner, substitute Divock Origi firing at Lukasz Fabianski in added time with the offside flag again wrongly staying down.
Klopp was clearly frustrated at the full-time whistle and had animated discussions with both West Ham counterpart Manuel Pellegrini and the match officials, led by referee Kevin Friend, before heading down the tunnel.
And Klopp intimated he felt Friend attempted to right the wrong of his assistant’s earlier decision to allow Mane’s goal to stand by giving decisions against the Reds.
“It was a tough game. You saw around the set-piece, we knew about the routine but when we trained we had three other players in the team,” Klopp told BBC Sport.
“Apparently our goal was offside and maybe the referee knew that in the second half. It’s a point and it’s a fair point.
“Probably all the reports are already written without me saying anything, I didn’t see anything about pressure that you can ask in the next few questions.
“We struggled most with the set-pieces. We had ups and downs. At the end we were up again. Now we take the point and carry on. We lost balls in different moments. It’s a deep-defending side and we have to cope with that and create.”
Asked to further explain his confrontation with the officials, Klopp told Sky Sports: “I was really calm. He [Friend] said we don’t talk at all.
“There were so many situations where it was 50-50 or 60-40… [he gave a] free-kick for the other team. As a human being I know if I make a big mistake in the first half I don’t want to open the gap even more.”
3 – Sadio Mané has scored in three consecutive Premier League appearances for Liverpool for only the second time, also doing so in August 2017 (a run of four). Opener. pic.twitter.com/oO10M8GvUB
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 4, 2019
Pellegrini was also critical of refereeing decisions during the game, feeling West Ham could have taken all three points.
“We had a lot of chances to win this game. We drew because they scored a clearly offside goal,” Pellegrini said to BBC Sport.
“The last play of the game, Origi missed that goal. He was offside. It was a big mistake from the linesman.
“Playing against a team who have scored so many goals with the best defence in the league, I’m happy with the performance but disappointed with the result.
“We need to grow and be more consistent in our play, it doesn’t matter against who we play.”
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