Monday 21 May 2018

Klopp's Smart comments may leave German in dock

The Liverpool manager tried to keep his irritation in check after the game. Photo credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
The Liverpool manager tried to keep his irritation in check after the game. Photo credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Jonathan Liew

Jurgen Klopp tried to conceal his anger at the controversial climax to Liverpool's 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur. Ultimately, he failed.

Klopp reserved his harshest words for assistant referee Eddie Smart, who intervened to award a penalty to Tottenham in injury time after a foul by Virgil van Dijk on Erik Lamela.

"He obviously wanted to be in the middle of interest," an unimpressed Klopp said.

The Liverpool manager tried to keep his irritation in check after the game, vowing that "if I say what I think, I would pay the biggest fine in world football".

Ironically, he may yet face some sort of disciplinary action for his comments on Smart.

"I have no problem with making mistakes," he said. "But it should not be on purpose that you want to make a decision.

"If you don't see it, then step aside. In the 93rd minute, you whistle for a penalty when you are 100pc.

"Lamela wants the touch. He is on the way down. The softest touch in the whole game decides the game."

Van Dijk echoed his manager's views, claiming that Kane was lucky to get the first award, especially after Dele Alli had been booked for diving in the box moments earlier - his third such transgression since his debut in 2015/16.

Dive

"I think it is a dive. You see him (Kane) diving clearly but no-one is talking about it," said Van Dijk.

Van Dijk was also unhappy with the award of the second penalty when Lamela went down as the Dutchman tried to clear the ball.

"I saw him coming in the end and I try and hold my leg in - he just pulled his body in front of the ball and he goes down," he said.

"The ref said play on and I was very disappointed that the linesman said otherwise."

Yet, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted both Tottenham penalties were justly awarded, and congratulated referee Jon Moss on his "amazing" decisions.

"When they are right, it is important to show character and congratulate them, because it is a difficult job," he said.

"It's no controversy, it's no polemic, it's nothing wrong. It's an amazing decision."

Pochettino also paid tribute to his leading man Kane, who shrugged off a penalty miss late in the game to convert his second attempt deep into injury time, reaching 100 Premier League goals in the process.

"He's one of the best strikers," Pochettino said.

"He can miss a penalty, but he has the personality.

"To score 100 Premier League goals, it's because you have big, big balls." © Independent News Service.

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