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Klopp Hits Back at Koeman and Everton’s Dirty Tackles

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The Liverpool manager insists there was only one side playing dirty football on Saturday.

Mark Robinson/Getty Images

Following Saturday's 3-1 Liverpool victory over local rivals Everton, Blues boss Ronald Koeman talked of a heated match, one that he said saw both sides perhaps breaking the rules of the game in search of a physical edge on their opponents. Today, Jürgen Klopp took him to task for that.

"The biggest mistake is in the first part of what he said," noted the Liverpool manager as he took time out from preparing his side to face Bournemouth on Wednesday to talk to the press. "From both sides he saw challenges that should have been a red card? I can't remember one from our side.

"It's not a problem. We can be emotional, not only myself, so it's not too serious. It's already done. My boys are emotional, yes, they are involved, but they never ask for anything they aren't sure about. Obviously they had a good view of a few situations and couldn't sit any more [but] now it's about the next game."

Everton's rough play managed to sideline Sadio Mané, potentially for the season, and could have done the same to Dejan Lovren and Emre Can, both of whom were victims of Ross Barkley's inability to play under control. As has too often been the case, Barkley repeatedly crossed the line on Saturday.

And as is too often the case, it appeared that his nationality and that many continue to talk him up as England's next great midfield hope was all that spared him a sending off in a game that could have seen him given straight red on two occasions and ended with him only seeing a single yellow.

It was the latest in a long line of disgracefully forgiving officiating displays when it comes to Barkley, one of the league's most consistently dangerous players and one who has so far brought little of his promised quality and skill to pair with his proven violent recklessness.

Given the reality of the day, Koeman's reaction was disingenuous at best. But dwelling on it, or on Barkley's multiple horror tackles, won't change what has past. All Liverpool can do is move on and hope that, next time, they receive competent officiating in a derby match.