Premier League • England

Simeone explanation won’t wash with pundits, who slam ‘cowardly’ Klopp moment

Diego Simeone, Jurgen Klopp Atletico Madrid v Liverpool October 2021

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone came in for criticism following his decision not to shake Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp’s hand.

The Atletico manager instead ran straight down the tunnel after his side’s 3-2 defeat on Tuesday. Liverpool took full control of Champions League Group B by clinching their third win from three games.

The match was full of drama in either half. Liverpool led 2-0 inside 13 minutes thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and a volley from Naby Keita.

However, the Spanish champions were level before half time and VAR then dominated the second-half talking points.

After Antoine Griezmann’s red card, Liverpool got a penalty for a push off the ball in the box and Salah converted for 3-2. Atletico then got the same, but VAR ruled out their spot-kick for no foul.

Simeone – lively on the touchline as always – ran straight down the tunnel after full time. Klopp insisted that he didn’t do “anything wrong” during his assessment of the situation, but he did not seem best pleased initially.

BT Sport pundits Peter Crouch and Joleon Lescott, meanwhile, voiced their frustrations at Simeone’s antics.

“You’re so caught up in the game that you forget the VAR moments, the penalties, the sendings off, all the goals we had,’ Crouch said (via Metro).

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“There was so much drama and not even a handshake at the end of it!

“I’ve got to respect him so much as a manager, Simeone, but I just think during the game, winding the crowd up, winding the players up, I understand it.

“But then not shaking hands at the end, I just think he lets himself down.”

Lescott added that he felt Simeone was “petty” and “cowardly”.

Simeone explains Klopp, Liverpool snub

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, October 2021

Explaining his reasons for not shaking Klopp’s hands, Simeone said: “I don’t always greet after the game because I don’t like it.

“It’s not healthy for either the winner or the loser. I think of it that way.

“But now, when I see him, I’ll greet him without a problem.”

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Liverpool now sit five points clear of joint-second and third Atletico and Porto in Group B. They now have two home games – against both teams – before facing AC Milan away.