Jurgen Klopp has played down Pep Guardiola’s comments about Liverpool and feels they were said in the heat of the moment – something he was also guilty of when he took a swipe at Tottenham’s approach.
Manchester City retook control of the Premier League title race over the weekend, capitalising on Liverpool’s draw with Spurs by winning 5-0 against Newcastle United and significantly boosting their goal difference advantage in the process.
After the match, Guardiola aimed an unprompted jibe at his title rivals, saying ‘everyone in this country supports Liverpool, the media and everyone’ and then brought up the fact they have only won one Premier League title in the last three decades.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola
Guardiola suggested there was a degree of bias towards Liverpool (Getty)
Klopp took his own swipe at Tottenham after the north Londoners’ resilient rearguard earned them a draw at Anfield and the German coach says managers often get carried away in the aftermath of a result.
Asked what he made of Guardiola’s comments, Klopp replied at his pre-match press conference on Monday ahead of facing Aston Villa: ‘I live in Liverpool so yes, here, a lot of people want us to win the league, that’s true!
‘But even here it’s probably only 50 per cent, because the other guys [Everton] were involved in another fight, at least until yesterday.
‘Look, as managers – and I had this experience only recently after a game – we are all obviously, how can I say this, we are massively influenced by the game, by the situation and stuff like this.
‘So I said – and would I say it again? No – but I said after the game [against Spurs] that they play like they play and are still only fifth. And it felt good in that moment but it was anyway wrong.
‘But it was just my feeling in that moment, and I couldn’t respect Antonio [Conte] more and what he’s doing and my god how he organises teams and all these kinds of things.
‘But after a game like that… I don’t know exactly what kind of situation Pep was in, but after getting knocked out of the Champions League, that’s already difficult enough to take, but then of course Liverpool made it to the final.
‘So of course you have these kind of things, “They played Villarreal and we played Real” and all these kind of things, and then you say what you say.
‘And he’s right, on top of it. I was right with fifth place and Tottenham still, and he was right that we’ve won the Premier League only once.
‘I’ve no idea if the whole country is supporting us, that I don’t know. It’s not the feeling I get actually when we go to other places and play there, it’s actually the opposite! But maybe he knows more about that than me.’