Jurgen Klopp explained exactly what happened in an exchange with Jose Mourinho. The two met as Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday – just. It took a last-gasp Roberto Firmino winner to settle things in one of the season’s biggest clashes.
The Reds dominated possession in the game, as well as the shot count. They managed 17 shots to Spurs’ eight (11 on target to two) with a massive 76 per cent possession.
Liverpool should have been out of sight by half-time, in truth, but some poor finishing let them down. The visitors did manage a few golden opportunities in response but couldn’t take them either.
And at the final whistle, Jurgen Klopp and Mourinho exchanged some words.
“It was not heated at all,” he told the BBC. “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.”
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We don’t blame Klopp for that reaction. It’s one thing to believe the defeat was harsh, another to think Spurs looked like the better team out there.
Liverpool controlled that game in the manner they expected to. Much as they will have expected Spurs to have chances – the Reds had 19-year-old Rhys Williams in defence, after all.
But Spurs could not have complained if Liverpool had two or three before half-time. They were very, very fortunate to go into the break level.
The very notion that Spurs can come away with any feeling of being ‘the better team’ is ridiculous, though.
They weren’t playing against a strong Liverpool team but one wounded by injuries. Klopp had two teenagers out there – one in defence alongside a defensive midfielder and another bossing the midfield.
So instead of coming away thinking they were unfortunate, Spurs should be wondering how they let this opportunity slip away. They won’t get a better chance to land a heavy blow on Liverpool.
Instead, a wounded Liverpool sit on top of the Premier League. And that should worry everybody.