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Klopp Explains Angry Exchange With Xherdan Shaqiri

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The Liverpool boss explained that his harsh words had to do with a mistake the winger made in the loss to Chelsea.

Jürgen Klopp is renown, not only for the coaching prowess that has seen him named the best manager in the world by his peers, but also idiosyncratic exuberance. While this lust for life is most often displayed in his animated touchline celebrations and affectionate interactions with his players, the 51-year-old is also not afraid to give anyone an earful with equal measures of passion.

This was the case at the end of Liverpool’s sucker punch 2-1 loss to Chelsea in the League Cup on Tuesday. Cameras captured the German manager making a beeline for Shaqiri following the full-time whistle and angrily berating the newest Red for an unknown error.

The incident follows the manager’s decision to sub the Swiss international off at half-time at the weekend despite being 3-0 up against relegation favorites, Southampton. Cameras at the time also caught Klopp remonstrating the Reds no. 23 for not adhering to the defensive plan.

However, Klopp has been quick to clear up any speculation around this most recent incident and explain what exactly Shaqiri had done to get him so hot under the collar:

“I spoke about a free-kick, the last one,” he said.

“We wanted to have Mo [Salah] a bit wider, so we had passed the ball to Mo, the whole bunch of players were in one direction – where we shot the ball, actually.

“But if we can send Mo into a one-on-one situation in the last situation of the game, it would have been not too bad. What I said was about the free-kick, nothing else.”

The ex-Bayern Munich man is clearly talented and, indeed, was the most creative player on the pitch against Chelsea. Despite that promise however, it seems like there are habits that Klopp is still working to help him unlearn. Similar to fellow new boys, Naby Keita and Fabinho this season—as well as initially Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andy Roberston last term—the acclimatization hasn’t been without its bumps, especially considering that the core of the team that rampaged across Europe and the league last time out has only gotten better this year.

However, in a week of heated exchanges between petulant managers and immature players—*ahem* Mourinho and Pogba—this is one confrontation that Liverpool supporters have no need to worry about.