Ronald Koeman refused to criticise Ross Barkley after his awful tackle on Dejan Lovren as Everton were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.
The Toffees were soundly beaten at Anfield with Philippe Coutinho inspiring the Reds to glory.
But Barkley’s ugly first-half tackle on Lovren was the hot topic at full-time. Although the Croatian defender avoided injury, Koeman refused to condemn the midfielder, instead highlighting some poor challenges from the player’s opposite number, Lucas.
“I am proud, really proud about the team. Of course we lost but the final result is not reflecting our performance. We conceded too easy the second and the third,” he told Sky Sports.
“They have some quality players and we conceded two easy goals – the second and the third. But overall we can be proud with how we played and how we made it difficult for them.
“Three at the back worked really well. We did not give them the time to build up, but the position of Coutinho is difficult because he is so clever.”
When asked about Barkley’s tackle on Lovren, Koeman responded: “Tackles are part of football I saw some tackles from Lucas.
“It’s all about football but we dont make a show from the bench like Liverpool. It’s football – a hard and fair game.
“I don’t like coaches from the bench the whole time shouting to referees and linesmen, making a big show about tackles. They were crazy. They didn’t need the physio on the pitch. It’s a man’s sport.”
The Everton manager was also critical of Jurgen Klopp for his reaction to a few tackles.
“It’s part of football. We don’t make a show of it like the bench of Liverpool, we are different, we are into the game, and not about what happens with referees and linesmen and tackles,” he added.
“I don’t like coaches from the bench shouting to referees and linesmen and making a big show about tackles. They were crazy after one tackle that didn’t even need a physio. That’s not what I like. It’s a man’s sport and your behaviour has to be looked at like that.”