Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accepted he was likely to find little sympathy for the mitigating factors he identified as the cause of dropped points in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Southampton.
James Milner had a second-half penalty saved to check the Reds’ hopes of Champions League qualification but Klopp – who was ridiculed earlier in the season for identifying a strong wind as one of the reasons for defeat to the Saints in the semi-final of the EFL Cup – bemoaned the visitors’ time wasting and a dry Anfield playing surface.
Fraser Forster brilliantly kept out Milner‘s spot kick after exchanging words with his former England team-mate, while Southampton also had Cedric Soares and James Ward-Prowse booked during the delay between Jack Stephens‘ handball and the penalty being taken.
Klopp shrugged wearily and smiled ruefully as he discussed the incident at a post-match news conference.
“I really don’t like it, even after we only drew, to make a story of it. You saw what they did, why do you need my say on it?” he said.
“I understand how you should handle situations like this. On this side people will say it was very smart because Milly missed afterwards; on the other side people will say that’s not how sportsmanship works.
“I don’t know. It is how it is. It took a long time. It’s not nice. At the end, two yellow cards for them.
“With this delay and with the time play of Southampton… I don’t know how long Forster needed altogether for his kicks. Four minutes [added time], I have to say that’s ambitious.
“Obviously I have nothing to do with it, I can’t decide. Whatever we say, we always look then like bad losers or whatever.
“You saw it, write it and then, if nobody reads it, obviously it’s no issue.”
Culled from soccerway