Monday Nov 22, 2021. 10:00
Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted he was merely protecting Sadio Mane during his touchline row with his Arsenal FC counterpart Mikel Arteta.
A challenge on the Senegalese star near the technical area spurred Arteta into action, and his protests towards the match referee drew the ire of Klopp as a spat developed.
Klopp and Arteta were both booked and Liverpool went on to secure a 4-0 win over Arsenal in an English Premier League match which was played at Anfield on Saturday night.
“The [challenge] was a completely clean situation, so nothing happened,” Klopp said on Independent.
“Two players jumped in the air, nobody touched the other really – not a foul – and the Arsenal bench is going for whatever. “I just asked ‘what do you want for that?’.
Mane went on to open the scoring, before grabbing an assist when he set-up Egypt captain Mohamed Salah, who netted the third goal for Liverpool
“There’s no contact really, and it looks like everybody wants a yellow card. For me, I’m really sick of these situations, that everybody tries to go for Sadio in these moments,” he continued.
“He’s a physical player, obviously, but he doesn’t make harsh fouls. But you might remember last year against Real Madrid, he was completely taken out of the game without doing anything.
“Yellow card and the ref was like ‘you do one more thing, then you’re out’. Then Atletico [Madrid], we had to take him off because of that, and it’s just not right. That’s what I said in that situation.”
Mane has been in good form for Liverpool this season having netted seven goals in 12 matches in the Premier League and only Salah has scored more goals than him in the competition.