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‘The best team lost’ – Jose

Mourinho calls out Klopp sideline behaviour after Firmino strike sinks Spurs

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Roberto Firmino rises highest to score Liverpool’s late winner in last night’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Anfield. Photo: PA

Roberto Firmino rises highest to score Liverpool’s late winner in last night’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Anfield. Photo: PA

Roberto Firmino rises highest to score Liverpool’s late winner in last night’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Anfield. Photo: PA

Jose Mourinho ranted against Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's touchline behaviour and claimed "the best team lost" after Tottenham Hotspur's last-minute Anfield defeat.

Roberto Firmino's header sent the champions back to the top of the Premier League after a thrilling, high-class game, Liverpool winning 2-1.

But the verbal combat continued after the final whistle with Mourinho unable to accept the fairness of the result after his side squandered second-half opportunities prior to Firmino's winner.

"I told him (Klopp) the best team lost and he disagreed, but that's his opinion," said Mourinho. "By the way, if I behave the same way he does on the touchline, I do not stay there. That's animated? For some reason I am different."

Mourinho also claimed his second-half substitutions were a consequence of Liverpool's bench pressurising officials to book his players.

Mourinho said: "The changes were to find counter-attack situations which we did immediately, but with Gio's (Lo Celso) yellow card and the incredible pressure these guys on the touchline put on the officials, I was afraid of the yellow card and I had to take him off. I am not the one to speak to my colleagues about their behaviour on the touchline."

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters

 

Although Spurs had their chances in the second half, Liverpool dominated possession and were in control for the majority of the game. But Mourinho felt his game-plan was working until Firmino struck.

"So close to winning," he said. "We missed the chances and had the game under control. A draw would be a bad result so you can imagine how we feel with a defeat. It was a very good performance and a very unfair result.

"Even a draw would not have left the best taste. We had them. They were in trouble and we had it there to kill it, but we missed it. I thought we would pay by just taking a point. Looking at the performance, I am happy with the team.

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"What makes title contenders is to go to every match with the ambition to win it. The ambition is there. That is the first step. You have to kill matches of this dimension.

"Now we just follow the same road. It is not because we win or lose here we would leave the road. The road is to improve and prepare the future of this team. Now we have to move on."

Klopp naturally disagreed with Mourinho's assessment, hailing the quality and resilience of his side which included two teenagers, Rhys Williams and Curtis Jones.

"It is a tough period coming up and playing like this is exceptional," said Klopp. "It is so difficult to play them with the counter-attacking threat they have. They are a counter-attacking monster. Yes, they have scored a goal, had two chances, but around their moments we were completely in charge of the game.

On his full-time altercation with Mourinho, Klopp added: "Nothing serious, he said it himself so I don't have to repeat it. No argument."

© Daily Telegraph, London

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


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