Jurgen Klopp rejects claims he inflamed Liverpool vs Man City tensions

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has rejected claims that he inflamed tensions at Anfield on Sunday and said he was ‘misunderstood’ when making comments about the spending power of Manchester City, Newcastle United and Paris St-Germain.

Klopp irked City and Newcastle by suggesting they ‘can do what they want financially’. Eddie Howe followed City by taking exception to the Liverpool manager’s comments on Tuesday, saying Klopp did not know what he was talking about.

The Liverpool coach stood by his remarks, suggesting he was making an observation rather than criticism.

“Those [comments] didn’t arrive, obviously,” said Klopp. “That is the life of people who speak in public. It is not the first time that I am misunderstood. I know what I thought when I said it. If someone misunderstands or wants to misunderstand, I cannot change that.

“I know I have to be careful and I know I am not always careful. From time to time I just answer and say what I think. I try to do it in the future as well. It is never my aim to blame anybody when I talk about things which I actually do not think are important in life, but I say what I know about it or how I judge it and see it.”

In the same press conference last Friday, Klopp described Pep Guardiola as the best manager in the world, City as the best team in the world, and Erling Haaland as the best striker in the world.

Klopp acknowledged off-field events overshadowed a brilliant match on Sunday, with a coin thrown at Guardiola and Liverpool releasing a statement condemning away fans’ chants about the Hillsborough and Heysel disasters. But Klopp felt there is no need for the relationship between Liverpool and City to be smoothed over before their next meeting.

“I am not sure we have to be best friends with other clubs,” said Klopp.

“I don’t think anybody wants to be best friends with us. It is a completely normal competition. It started here [in Friday’s press conference] with a question and I answered it and all the rest was made of it. I know what I thought when I said it and I thought I put it in perspective and said how much I respect what they [City] are doing. Obviously it was still not right for some.

“As a club and a team with our supporters we showed an incredible performance. And then if something happens and one fan throws a coin it is a massive mistake and it will get punished, definitely. It looks like a super intense game was overshadowed because it was a brilliant performance against an incredibly strong side.” 

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