Jürgen Klopp was fuming on Tuesday night after Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. About the team’s performance, yes, but also about a specific call by referee Felix Brych against Sadio Mané.
The decision could be considered one of the big turning points in the game. Brych chose not to call for a foul against Lucas Vazquez on Mané. Mané was brought down as he sprinted to reach a high pass, but the referee waved it off. Less than a minute later, Madrid had scored their second.
Klopp had plenty to say to Brych after the match, and then to reporters in the post-game press conference.
“The situation with Sadio, I have to say what the ref did tonight I don’t understand,” he said. “For me, there was something personal. He dealt with situation the from Sadio, which is a clear foul, like it was a dive (by Mané) or whatever. It’s just not right. That’s what I told him (the referee) after the game, that I just thought he was unfair with Sadio. That’s how it is.
“But that doesn’t change anything at all. He didn’t lose us the game, we were not good enough to get a better result. But in these moments obviously you need just an okay ref. That would have been enough.”
The non-call and subsequent goal capped a pitiful first half performance that couldn’t be redeemed in the second half.