Ajax boss Erik ten Hag fires back at criticism from Jurgen Klopp

Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag has rubbished Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of the pitch at the Amsterdam Arena after the German claimed it had drained his players of their energy.

Liverpool made the perfect start to their new Champions League season, winning 1-0 away against the Dutch champions due to an own goal from left-back Nicolas Tagliafico.

After claiming the three points, though, Jurgen Klopp criticised the playing surface and felt it produced a low-quality football game that wore out both clubs.

‘I really think the pitch was really tricky. It was like deep, muddy a little bit,’ he explained to BT Sport after the game.

‘Even if you can’t see it from outside but it was like this because both teams looked really exhausted pretty early. ‘It looked three days ago completely different, yesterday in training completely different. But it was the same for Ajax.’

He added in another interview: ‘Surprisingly, the pitch was not good. I thought a football playing side would have a good pitch. A few days ago the players were flying physically but they all looked like it was really tough today.’

But Ten Hag clearly had no time for Klopp’s complaints about the pitch, firing back at the Liverpool manager’s comments, and suggested the Reds should be more worried about their own pitch.

‘Klopp saying the pitch was bad? I don’t think the pitch was bad, no,’ responded the Ajax boss when informed of Klopp’s comments. ‘Let’s hope we get a better pitch at Anfield then.’

BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand was also confused by Klopp’s comments, saying: ‘Obviously strange to hear that the pitch was a bit soggy and stuff, which was sapping the energy in the legs, but they got through it and that’s all you need to ask of them.’


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