Friday, March 31, 2023

Klopp laughs off as Guardiola barbs heat-of-moment comments

LIVERPOOL, England ( Associated Press) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp laughed at some of the barbs of counterpart Pep Guardiola’s Premier League title race on Monday, saying he was impressed by Manchester City’s painful elimination from champions likely to happen. League.

Furious after City’s 5-0 win At Newcastle on Sunday, Guardiola said “everybody in the country” supports Liverpool and pointed out that the Reds have only won the Premier League once in 30 years, despite having a strong record in the Champions League.

Klopp, in no mood to fight back, laughed as Guardiola’s words were read to him.

The German coach said he understands why Guardiola made the remarks following the way City were out of the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid. On Wednesday – a day after Liverpool beat Villarreal to reach the final.

Madrid scored in the 90th and first minutes of injury time to take the game to extra time for a 6–5 aggregate victory over City, who have yet to win the Champions League.

“I don’t know what position Pep was in after being knocked out of the Champions League – it’s already tough enough, but then of course Liverpool made it to the final, eh?” Klopp said. “Then you have (people saying) things like, ‘But he played Villarreal and we played Real.’ Such things.

“And he’s right, on top of that… we’ve only won the Premier League once. I don’t know if the whole country is supporting us. I don’t know. When we go to other places and play there.” I don’t feel that way. It’s actually the opposite, but maybe he knows more than me.”

Klopp said that he also says things that he should not do after the Games. For example, he said he regretted criticizing Tottenham’s defensive style of play in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Anfield, which left Liverpool three points behind City in the league with three games to go.

“The game plan works for these games,” Klopp said after the match, “but they are still fifth.”

Two days later, Liverpool’s manager expressed displeasure, saying: “As a manager, we are clearly … deeply affected by the situation, by the game. What did I say, shall I say it again? No, but I said after the game, they play the way they play and are still only fifth. It felt good at that moment, but still, it was wrong.

“That was just my feeling at that moment.”


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