Everton boss Ronald Koeman felt his side did not deserve their defeat to Liverpool on Monday night, as he felt a number of factors went against them.
The hosts lost midfielder James McCarthy, so important to their aggressive, high-tempo game, at half-time because of injury and saw goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg limp off after colliding with Mane and Leighton Baines.
Koeman, whose men had just 32 per cent possession and one shot on target, also thought Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren should have been red-carded for an off-the-ball clash with Seamus Coleman, which could easily have seen Ross Barkley dismissed for a challenge on Jordan Henderson which sparked the melee.
“I think the players did a great performance. Maybe it was the best first 45 (of the season),” said the Dutchman.
“The players didn’t deserve the defeat, nor the fans.
“Maybe it’s a red card (for Barkley) but what happened after is not a fair decision either.
“Yes, maybe it’s red for Barkley, but it’s the reaction of several players too – also Coleman, but also Lovren and he already had yellow.
“He gave Coleman a yellow but nothing to Lovren. He could give Lovren his second and Coleman first and maybe a red (for Ross) but only Coleman, from the reaction of both teams, got a yellow so that is not fair.”
Klopp, unsurprisingly, was in agreement with Koeman on Barkley’s above-the-ankle tackle.
“I saw it was a really hard, harsh challenge,” said the German.
“You saw it all. I don’t need to say anything about this. He (Barkley) was lucky – and Hendo was lucky that nothing else happened.”