Liverpool’s Klopp miffed by ref’s reaction to goal celebration

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accused referee Paul Tierney of saying something “that is not OK” when issuing a yellow card for Klopp’s celebration after Diogo Jota‘s 94th-minute winner in a 4-3 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Sunday.

Klopp also said he wants to know “what [Tierney] has against us” after hitting out at the official for the second time in 18 months.

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Klopp was booked for celebrating Jota’s goal and confronting fourth official John Brooks, but he said his anger with the referee stemmed from a failure to award a foul drawn by Mohamed Salah in the build-up to Richarlison‘s equaliser for Spurs.

“How they can [not] give a foul on Mohamed Salah [before Spurs’ third goal]?” Klopp said. “We have our history with Tierney, I really don’t know what he has against us, he has said there is no problems, but that cannot be true.

“How he looks at me, I don’t understand it. In England, nobody has to clarify these situations, it’s really tricky and hard to understand. My celebration was unnecessary, which is fair, but what he said to me when he gave me the yellow card is not OK.”

When asked to expand on his comments and reveal what Tierney is alleged to have said, Klopp refused to go into further detail.

“I will not say anything,” Klopp said. “The refs don’t say what is said, so I don’t. The problem is, I have to mention, Paul Tierney in a season which is important [2021-22] didn’t give Harry Kane a red card, and I love Harry Kane, and gave Robbo [Andy Robertson] a red card.

“It is not the first time, there are so many things. No one on the stadium wanted the foul for Mo Salah, the linesman flag down, it is not OK we shouldn’t do that, we are role models, but first and foremost human beings.

“I didn’t say anything to the fourth official, but turned around to him to celebrate. I got a yellow card, I think he thought I should have got a different punishment.”

Later on Sunday, Professional Game Match Officials League came to Tierney’s defence, saying audio from the game cleared him of any wrongdoing in its eyes.

In a statement, the body responsible for overseeing refereeing in England said: “PGMOL is aware of the comments made by Jurgen Klopp after his side’s fixture with Tottenham Hotspur. 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.”

Meanwhile, Klopp appeared to injure himself while celebrating Jota’s goal and he confirmed after the game that he pulled a hamstring in the incident.

“I pulled my hamstring, yes,” Klopp said. “It’s bad enough, so fair punishment for not behaving the right away. I have pain for a few days, but Mr. Tierney not.”

In December 2021, Klopp said he has “no idea what [Tierney’s] problem is with me” following a 2-2 draw at Tottenham in which he argued repeatedly with the referee.

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