Dubai: In a Premier League of mayhem in England this season, one intriguing factor is the behaviour of the coaches. Jose Mourinho is as curt as ever, Pep Guardiola keeps his cool after a slow start and Ole refuses to slate his players after a shabby performance: so far so normal ...
Then we see Jurgen Klopp, the boss of defending champions Liverpool — the shiny-teeth and smile ever-present — losing his rag after a loss to Southampton saw the Reds stumble in their pursuit of back-to-back EPL titles.
It was classic “We was robbed” stuff as Klopp claimed Liverpool were denied a penalty. They have been given so many dodgy decisions and chuckled at others’ misfortune ever since VAR was introduced, Klopp should know better.
Klopp said it was baffling that the Premier League champions were not awarded a penalty in Monday’s 1-0 loss at Southampton and — with a bit of a memory loss — claimed other teams would not have been denied by the officials.
Liverpool fell behind to a second-minute lob by former striker Danny Ings and had a penalty claim dismissed when Georginio Wijnaldum’s shot from inside the box was blocked by the hand of Jack Stephens.
The league leaders were left frustrated again when Kyle Walker-Peters went unpunished after bringing down Sadio Mane in the penalty area.
“The best situations we had were with Sadio having the ball at his feet,” Klopp grumpily told Sky Sports. “For anyone to say he’s a diver is the biggest joke ... He had two situations where other teams would get a penalty.
“The handball, I don’t know who will explain that to me. In these situations we were unfortunate ... I hear Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years. I have no idea if that’s my fault, or how that can happen.
“But it’s no excuse for the performance. We cannot change it, we have to respect the decisions. We can change our performance. That’s our focus now.”
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said the club had forgotten how to play in the final minutes of games after going three league matches without a win.
“I didn’t see that coming, I expected a reaction on the back of two poor performances. We’ve just seen another one,”