Jurgen Klopp has rubbished Jose Mourinho’s claim that Tottenham were ‘the better team’ in their 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night, while he refused to be drawn on criticism of his dugout behaviour.
The top-of-the-table clash was an absorbing affair, with Mohamed Salah’s deflected strike in the first half quickly cancelled out by Heung-min Son’s breakaway goal against the run of play, with Liverpool having dominated the first 45 minutes.
But Spurs improved measurably after the break and missed three huge chances – two for Steven Bergwijn and one for Harry Kane – before being undone by a late set-piece as Roberto Firmino headed the winner.
Mourinho appeared to confront Klopp at full-time of the match, later revealing that he had told his German counterpart that ‘the best team lost’, and he also criticised the Liverpool manager’s animated behaviour on the sidelines, but Klopp played down the spat.
‘It was not heated at all. he wasn’t happy because he told me the better team lost – and I thought he was joking! But he wasn’t. So that’s it,’ Klopp told 5Live.
He also discussed the exchange on Amazon Prime Video, saying: ‘My English is worse than I thought! I thought he said to me, “The better team lost” and nothing about my behaviour on the touchline. So I have no idea what that is.’
Although Mourinho felt his Spurs side deserved to leave Anfield with at least a point, Klopp was adamant Liverpool merited their victory and was full of praise for his players.
He said: ‘I think it’s absolutely deserved. It was a really good game against a top, top, top side who is a counter-attacking monster, so you lose one ball and it will end up with an 80% probability in your own box.
‘So you have to be really focused, really concentrated. And then on the other side, because they don’t want the ball too much, we have to play around them but you have to keep them really busy and the boys did that really, really well.
‘I really think it was absolutely deserved. Of course they scored a goal, which is a typical Tottenham counter-attack, great play, and had two or three more chances.
‘You cannot defend them with the quality that they have over 95 minutes. But it felt like we had 70% possession or so and that makes it really tricky to stay concentrated, but the boys did.’
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