Premier League • England

Klopp admits mistake over Conte, Tottenham comments and reacts to Guardiola, Liverpool jibe

Jonny Whitfield
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he was wrong to criticise Antonio Conte and his style of football following Liverpool’s draw with Tottenham.

The Reds slipped up in the Premier League title race by claiming only a point at home to Spurs on Saturday. Manchester City subsequently took advantage and went three clear at the top by beating Newcastle.

Tottenham’s point, meanwhile, could serve them well in the top-four race and it came as a result of a resolute away display. Conte set his team up to defend and soak up pressure before hitting Liverpool on the counter-attack.

A frustrated Klopp subsequently claimed that Spurs should “do more for the game”. The German added that he “cannot coach” Conte’s style of football.

Speaking in another press conference on Tuesday, Klopp admitted he made a mistake in the heat of the moment.

“As a manager – and I had this experience recently – after a game we are massively influenced by the game,” the manager said.

“So what I said, would I say it again? No. I said after the game, ‘They play like they play and are still only fifth’.

“So, it was just my feeling in that moment. I couldn’t respect Antonio more and what he’s doing and how he organises teams.”

However, Klopp’s comments were not the only ones which attracted attention last weekend. City manager Pep Guardiola claimed after his side’s 5-0 win over Newcastle that “everyone in this country supports Liverpool, the media and everyone”.

The Athletic has claimed that the Spaniard has a ‘clandestine’ Twitter account through which he monitors the rhetoric around his team.

However, Klopp insisted that Guardiola was only doing what he himself did on Saturday.

Klopp responds to Guardiola jibe

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

“I don’t know the situation Pep made those comments in,” the Liverpool boss said. “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. Then you have these kind of things – ‘but they played Villarreal, we played Real’.

“He’s right and I was right with Tottenham’s place as well. He’s right that we’ve won the Premier League only once.

“I have no idea if the whole country is supporting us. It’s not the feeling I get when we go to other places and play there, it’s the opposite. Maybe he knows more about that than me.”

Liverpool can still win the title, but only if City slip up like the Reds did in their 1-1 draw with Spurs.

Liverpool dream alive

“I think it’s obvious – we both have three games to play,” Klopp said.

“My concern is actually how can we win our games and we have no hand in how City will play their games. But, before they are played I think we should try and win points.

“As long as it’s not unreachable, why should we stop believing?”

Liverpool return to action on Tuesday, when a reunion with Steven Gerrard awaits at Aston Villa.