Jurgen Klopp explains Kovac bust-up in Bayern stalemate

Date published: Wednesday 20th February 2019 10:51 - Jamie Woodhouse

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claims the supposed altercation between him and Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac was a misunderstanding.

The Reds were held to a 0-0 draw by Bayern in their Champions League last 16 first-leg clash, and Klopp was visibly angered when he spoke with Kovac on the touchline at full-time.

Klopp could be seen shouting and gesturing at his Bayern counterpart as the pair shook hands, before he pulled Klopp’s arm to continue their exchange.

The German would then go on to the pitch to speak with his Liverpool team.

In his post-match press conference, Klopp explained that he wanted to shake Kovac’s hand before going to his players, whereas the Croatian did it the other way around, but there was no ill-feeling between the pair.

Asked if he was angry at the full-time whistle, Klopp replied: “No, no, no. I wanted to shake Niko’s hand immediately and then he went in the crowd of his players. Then, when he came back, I said: ‘I am waiting’ and he apologised.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Sadio Mane of Liverpool battles with Serge Gnabry of Bayern Munich during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Liverpool and FC Bayern Muenchen at Anfield on February 19, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Kovac saw humour in the incident, stating that the post-match handshakes are done differently in Germany and that he would not change his approach on English soil.

“That was funny. We were on English soil. In Germany it is normal when games end, you shake hands with your players,” he explained.

“In England, first the coaches shake hands so I did what I did in Germany, said sorry and made up for it and, in Germany, we will do it as we do it in Germany.”

Despite the goalless draw, Klopp insisted he was very happy with the result.

“It was like this. It was a big fight. I can’t remember chances in the second half for both sides,” said Klopp.

“The tie is not over. We had to create a basis which we can use in the second leg.

“From a result point of view, it’s absolutely OK. It’s not a dream result but it’s a good one and we can work with that.”


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