Klopp couldn’t resist a jab at rivals Manchester United following their 1-0 loss to Southampton.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has added fuel to the fire ahead of Man United’s visit to Anfield next weekend by comparing their penalty records after his side were denied two potential spot-kicks.
Danny Ings scored the game’s only goal against his former side with a stunning chip to end Liverpool’s 12 game unbeaten streak in the league. The champions’ winless run now stretches to three games.
Klopp was especially angered when his side weren’t awarded two penalty appeal. One for a Kyle Walker-Peters challenge on Sadio Mane and another for Jack Stephens’ handball while blocking a Georginio Wijnaldum. Both went unpunished by referee Andre Marriner.
Liverpool remain top of the table on goal difference but they could very easily fall behind by the time they welcome United on January 17th if the Red Devils can steal a point or more in their game in hand.
Speaking after the match, Klopp was visibly livid at the officiating decisions and also took the opportunity to criticise those who label Sadio Mane as a ‘diver’.
“If anybody ever again will say Sadio Mane is a ‘diver’, it’s the biggest joke in the world,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“This boy tries to stay on his feet with all he has. In two situations… other teams will get a penalty for it, let me say it like this. Then the handball, I don’t know who will explain that to me.
“We had a really good view of it [the Mane incident], and it looked like a clear penalty. I turned around to the fourth official and asked if it was going to be checked, he said it already had been and was not a penalty.
“That’s 100 per cent true, and now someone wants to tell me how quick they had it in all these different angles.
🔴 Liverpool's penalties awarded since October 2015
🔴 Manchester United's penalties awarded since August 2018 pic.twitter.com/XmdAWFoYLO
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 5, 2021
“Last year, there was a penalty against Leicester when people said Sadio Mane goes down too easily – if he goes down easily, we would have had a penalty in this game and the last game, a stonewall penalty, but what Andre Marriner did with Sadio Mane I’m not sure if that’s okay.”
“But it’s no excuse for the performance.”
In the midst of his venting session, Klopp couldn’t help taking a swipe at his rivals United’ penalty record.
“The boy (Mane) tried everything, had a few great challenges with Walker-Peters, but there were a lot of situations which should have been free-kicks,” he added.
“The last one, when he goes down, you see that back and in the box, he hits him in the end with his left foot, that’s a penalty.
"There were tears in my eyes – you need to have the perfect game against Liverpool and I think we did have that."
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 5, 2021
“We cannot change. I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years. I’ve no idea if that’s my fault, or how that can happen.
“But it’s no excuse for the performance. We cannot change it, we have to respect the decisions. But we can change our performance. That’s our focus now.”