Jurgen Klopp was fuming that Jeremain Lens escaped a red card for a challenge on Mamadou Sakho during Liverpool’s win at Sunderland.
Lens careered into Sakho as time ran down during the Reds’ 1-0 Premier League victory at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday evening, but the Dutchman was only booked by referee Kevin Friend.
Klopp, whose staff became involved in heated exchanges with their Black Cats counterparts on the sideline in the aftermath, insisted Lens should have been dismissed.
He said: “I don’t want to say now, ‘Come on, give him a red card’. I have no problem with this player, but if you go like that, everything can happen. That’s not allowed. For me, that’s a red card, finish, that’s it.”
Asked if Sakho had escaped serious injury in the incident, Klopp added: “I hope so, yes. But we cannot decide and say, ‘Okay, nothing serious happened and it’s nothing’.
“A lot of small things, they got yellow cards and you think, ‘Why?’ and this is a yellow card too? It’s not how it should be. But it’s over, it’s okay, there’s nothing to talk about.”
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, however, was of a markedly different opinion, saying with tongue firmly in cheek: “He’s a soft German. It’s not a red card, it’s a yellow. It’s a foul.”
Asked about the verbal confrontation on the sideline, Allardyce said: “There was some foul and abusive language towards my staff that I didn’t like. After the end, it was all right, though, because we all shook hands and got on with it, which is what we have got to do.”