Things got heated between Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp and the fourth official during Liverpool third round EFL Cup win against Derby County. The issue arose when Liverpool star player and delightful pug-enthusiast Philippe Coutinho found himself on the end of several strong challenges from the Derby County players who were desperately trying to defend against him.
Despite Klopp going into full neck-vein popping mode as he gestured emphatically to the fourth official, the German manager downplayed the incident in his remarks after the game.
“It is so close that some bad can happen when someone flies in three or four times like they did, and I said to the fourth official ‘please tell him’,” he explained.
“He didn’t hit the player, I saw that, but it was so close. But that’s my problem how I reacted and nothing happened.”
I’m no body language expert, but I think it’s possible that “please tell him” was more a paraphrase than an exact quote of Klopp’s words at the time. It’s understandable that the manager would be agitated, however, since Coutinho remains one of Liverpool’s best players, and the risk of him becoming injured this early in the season is enough to send any normal Liverpool fan into fear sweats.
In the end, the Reds left the iPro Stadium with a place in the next round of the EFL Cup and all of their players healthy. Now the hope is that they can take the momentum of three wins on the bounce into Saturday’s potential banana peel match against Hull City.