Klopp talks peace af­ter stormy Sevilla con­clu­sion

The New Age (Gauteng) - - SPORT -

JUR­GEN Klopp claims he made peace with op­po­site num­ber Ed­uardo Ber­izzo and the Sevilla coach­ing staff af­ter a stormy con­clu­sion to Liver­pool’s 2-2 Cham­pi­ons League draw with the Span­ish side at An­field.

Young Liver­pool de­fender Joe Gomez was sent off in the dy­ing sec­onds of the group game, the sec­ond dis­missal of the night af­ter Ber­izzo had been sent to the stands on the hour for throw­ing the ball away af­ter Gomez hur­ried to take a throw­in for the home team.

On the fi­nal whis­tle on Liver­pool’s re­turn to the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter two years, mem­bers of Ber­izzo’s staff ap­peared to re­mon­strate with Klopp as the two benches walked down the tun­nel.

“It’s all fine. I thought they might have been re­spon­si­ble for the red card,” Klopp said.

“I was not happy with Ber­izzo throw­ing the ball away but we’re fine. He in­vited me into the dress­ing room and we spoke about it.

“But in this sit­u­a­tion I was not ex­cep­tion­ally emo- tional. It was an of­fen­sive sit­u­a­tion for us, tak- ing

throw-in and some­body threw the ball away. But I didn’t send him to the stand!”

Strangely, the Argentinian man­ager claimed he was wast­ing his own team’s time – to make amends for an in­ci­dent in the first half when he had been warned by Dutch ref­eree Danny Makke­lie for a sim­i­lar of­fence.

“In the first half, when we were win­ning and Liver­pool were on the counter at­tack, I did some­thing that wasn’t right, I threw the ball away to waste time,” Ber­izzo said.

“I re­alised that was a mis­take and in the sec­ond half, when the ball came to me and we were los­ing, I de­cided to throw the ball away to try and make up for what I did in the first half.

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“I’ve had a chat with Klopp and ex­plained ex­actly that I wanted to put right my ini­tial mis­take. He ac­cepted that.”

Ber­izzo could be sat­is­fied with his evening’s work af­ter Joaquin Cor­rea grabbed a late equaliser for the vis­i­tors.

Liver­pool, in con­trast, were left count­ing the cost of a Roberto Firmino penalty miss with the Brazil­ian hit­ting the post just be­fore the in­ter­val.

Firmino and Mo­hamed Salah had ear­lier put the hosts 2­1 in front, can­celling out an early ef­fort from Wis­sam Ben Yed­der.

“Of course I’m not happy with the re­sult but I’m happy with a big part of the game,” Klopp said.

“A lot of times when good teams play each other, the games are kind of bor­ing, but this game was the op­po­site. And that was due to the de­sire, the pas­sion, the greed of my team.

“Dis­ap­point­ment and frus­tra­tion are com­pletely nor­mal.

“We’re re­spon­si­ble for the very good parts in the game and also re­spon­si­ble for the not­so­good parts. That means you have to take it and use it, you have to feel dis­ap­point­ment as well.”

Philippe Coutinho was subbed on for the fi­nal 15 min­utes for his first ac­tion since his po­ten­tial move to Barcelona col­lapsed. – AFP

PICTURE: EPA

BACK IN PLAY: Liver­pool mid­fielder Philippe Coutinho.

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