Jurgen Klopp said his aggressive confrontation with match officials after Liverpool’s dramatic late winner against Tottenham was down to “emotion” and “anger in that moment”.
The Football Association is investigating comments by the Reds boss that appeared to call into question the integrity of referee Paul Tierney after Sunday’s 4-3 victory at Anfield.
Following Diogo Jota’s late winner, Klopp ran down the touchline to celebrate in front of fourth official John Brooks and received a yellow card from Tierney.
“The whole situation shouldn’t have happened at all,” Klopp said at a press conference on Tuesday. “It was out of emotion, out of anger in that moment. That’s why I celebrated the way I celebrated.
“I didn’t say anything wrong. I couldn’t get close to the fourth official and I didn’t want to get close to him.”
Klopp, whose team are fifth in the Premier League table after four straight wins, added: “Paul Tierney came over and I didn’t expect a red card, I expected a yellow. He said to me: ‘For me it’s a red card,’ but he gave me a yellow.
“After the game I tried to calm down and didn’t properly. I said (in TV interviews): ‘What he said to me was not OK’. I opened the box which I didn’t want to open.
“The rest was things I said about how I felt in that moment and Paul Tierney doing our games. I’m not a resentful person but these things which happen in the past happens, not intentionally but they are there.
“Obviously the refs are really angry about what I said. I did a lot of things that day but I didn’t lie.”
Klopp said after the game that he did not know what the official “has against us”.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s home match against Fulham, Klopp said he expected to face punishment.
“Refs think I questioned their integrity, which if I am sitting here now calm, I don’t do,” said the German.
Shortly after the Spurs game, PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) issued a statement.
“PGMOL is aware of the comments made by Jurgen Klopp after his side’s fixture with Tottenham Hotspur,” it said.
“Match officials in the Premier League are recorded in all games via a communications system and, having fully reviewed the audio of referee Paul Tierney from today’s fixture, we can confirm he acted in a professional manner throughout including when issuing the caution to the Liverpool manager so, therefore, we strongly refute any suggestion that Tierney’s actions were improper.”
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