Jurgen Klopp has said that his post-match comments about referee Paul Tierney following Liverpool’s win over Tottenham were taken out of context and amplified, though he still believes the official has a ‘history’ of questionable decisions against his club. The German coach was shown a yellow card in stoppage time of Sunday’s dramatic 4-3 victory after charging over to fourth official John Brooks and celebrating in his face following Diogo Jota’s last-gasp winner.
Klopp then accused Tierney of having an agenda against both himself and Liverpool before claiming the referee had said something that ‘was not okay’ when brandishing the yellow card that he refused to elaborate on. Refereeing body PGMOL quickly released a statement defending Tierney, saying he acted in a ‘professional manner throughout’ the exchange, while the audio of the conversation has been described as a ‘smoking gun’ that completely exonerates the official.
Klopp, who is expected to be charged by the FA, has now addressed the incident and revealed Tierney’s rather innocuous comment, while he feels his post-match complaints were exaggerated by the media – though still maintains there is an undeniable ‘history’ with the referee. In a lengthy response, Klopp said that the whole situation shouldn’t have happened at all, and that it was out of emotion and anger in that moment. He also revealed that Tierney had said to him, “For me it’s a red card but [it’s only yellow] because of him [the fourth official]”.
Klopp then went on to say that there is a history between himself and Tierney, and while he doesn’t believe it is intentional, it is still there. He also admitted that he should not have said certain things, but denied lying. He concluded by saying that he expects to be punished for his actions.