Klopp: A soft German

HAYWIRE . . . Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) gestures as a heated row between staff members of both teams takes place on Wednesday during the English Premiership match between the Reds and Sunderland. —  Mailonline

HAYWIRE . . . Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) gestures as a heated row between staff members of both teams takes place on Wednesday during the English Premiership match between the Reds and Sunderland. — Mailonline

SUNDERLAND. — Sam Allardyce called Jurgen Klopp “a soft German” after a touchline row with the Liverpool boss on Wednesday night. The two benches clashed at the Stadium of Light after Jeremain Lens caught Mamadou Sakho with a late tackle during the first half of Liverpool’s 1-0 win.

Klopp, who failed to shake hands with West Brom boss Tony Pulis following a similar incident this month, did share a handshake with Allardyce after the game.

But the disagreement continued in the post-match press conferences after Klopp claimed Lens should have been sent off for the challenge.

Asked for his view on Klopp’s comments Allardyce said: “He’s a soft German if he thinks that’s a red card. It’s a yellow.

“There was some foul and abusive language towards my staff that I didn’t like. After the end, it was alright though, because we all shook hands and got on with it, which is what you’ve got to do.”

But Klopp says he is not bothered about being called “a soft German” by Allardyce.

Klopp laughed off the comment, but stood by his opinion that Lens should have seen red.

“Absolutely not a problem – a lot of people have said worse things about me, so it is not a problem,” he said.

“I think it’s the first time somebody has said this about me so it’s cool.

“But if you see the situation, if you see it again then you know that it was not too wrong in judging this moment and that’s all I said.

“Mama [Sakho] is still alive and everything is OK but in my opinion situations like this have to be judged different than other things, so if you compare yellow cards in a game and think ‘OK, this is yellow, then what’s this?’

“That’s all I wanted to say but I had no arguments with the bench of Sunderland, absolutely not.

“For me that is a red card, finished. So my staff were emotional, the staff of Sunderland were emotional.

“If you look on your ticket, it is included. If nothing happens on the pitch, you can watch the bench.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool obeyed the pragmatic instructions of manager Klopp in a 1-0 win at Sunderland where quality football was at a premium and there was an element of good fortune in a decisive goal scored by Christian Benteke.

As Liverpool ended the first half of the English Premier League season, the result was all that mattered to Klopp, who ordered his team to go toe-to-toe with a Sunderland team fighting to avoid relegation on Wednesday night.

“The manager has tried to drum into us that sometimes we’ve got to be dirtier, fight a bit more and play teams at their own game,” said Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana, who admitted there was luck involved in the goal.

Lallana diverted Nathaniel Clyne’s pass towards Benteke after only 22 seconds of the second-half and the Belgian striker scored for the second successive match.

“I don’t think I meant the flick to go directly into Christian’s path but sometimes you need the rub of the green, especially at tough places like this,” Lallana said. Liverpool should have scored more in a game when Sunderland lacked an attacking edge, yet Klopp was still satisfied with a victory that lifted them into seventh place in the Premier League, five points from a Champions League place.

He has seen his side draw level with Manchester United, but believe Liverpool still have a crucial psychological advantage.

He said: “Both of us are on 30 points and at this moment Liverpool don’t feel too bad, but at Manchester United the atmosphere is not the best.

“You can see how football is sometimes. We wanted 30 points and we got them – perfect. This is not the best we can do, we know this, but we had to fight. We knew about Sunderland’s situation.” — AFP.

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