LIVERPOOL, England ( Associated Press) — Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp downplayed the darts thrown by his counterpart Pep Guardiola that have ignited the Premier League title race, saying it was a reaction to the heat of the moment, possibly fueled by the painful elimination of Manchester City in the Champions League.
After City’s 5-0 victory over Newcastle on Sunday, Guardiola came out to say that “everyone in the country” is with Liverpool and recalled that the “Reds” have only won the Premier title once in 30 years, despite having good results in the Champions League.
Klopp did not want to enter the intersection, laughing when Guardiola’s sentences were read to him.
The German coach said he understands why Guardiola spoke this way, given the manner in which City were eliminated from the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid on Wednesday — a day after Liverpool advanced to the final after defeating Villarreal.
Madrid scored goals in the 90th minute and then in the first minute of stoppage time to force extra time. The Spanish club ended up winning 6-5 on aggregate against a City that is still unable to win the Champions League.
“I don’t know exactly how Pep came out after being knocked out of the Champions League — I imagine it must have been difficult and, well, did Liverpool get into the final?” Klopp said. “And people come out to say things like: ‘But they played against Villarreal and we played against Real’. That kind of things”.
“And you’re right, too… We’ve only won the Premier League once. I don’t know if the whole country is supporting us. I don’t know that. It’s not the feeling she got when we went out to visit. It’s quite the opposite, but maybe he knows something more than me, ”she added.
Klopp added that he also says things he shouldn’t after games. For example, he regretted criticizing Tottenham’s defensive style in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Anfield, which left Liverpool three points behind City with three games remaining.
“The tactical plan works for these types of matches, but they are still fifth,” Klopp said after the match.
“It felt good to say that at that amount, but it was wrong,” he said Monday. “It was my feeling at the time.”