Manchester City are unhappy with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s comments in the build-up to Sunday’s game and feel he ‘unnecessarily and irresponsibly inflamed tensions’.
The Merseysiders secured a 1-0 win over the reigning champions at Anfield but the game was overshadowed by bad behaviour from both sets of fans.
Pep Guardiola was pelted with coins in the aftermath of Phil Foden’s disallowed goal – though was not hit by the projectiles – while Liverpool released a statement after the game condemning chants from the travelling fans about Hillsborough.
On Monday, it was also revealed that Man City’s team bus was attacked by Liverpool supporters on its way out of Anfield after the game with an object striking and damaging the windscreen.
Now The Times are claiming that City feel Klopp played a key role in raising tensions prior to the match with his pointed comments about the reigning Premier League champions.
While the German coach was complimentary about Sunday’s opposition, he took aim at City – as well as Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle – in the final question of his pre-match press conference.
‘There are three clubs in world football who can do what they want financially,’ said Klopp, clearly referencing the three clubs who have backing from Gulf states. ‘It’s legal and everything fine, but they can do what they want.’
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He added: ‘Nobody can compete with City in that. You have the best team in the world and you put in the best striker on the market. No matter what it costs, you just do it.
‘City will not like it, nobody will like it, you ask the question but you know the answer. We cannot act like them. It’s not possible. Not possible.’
According to The Times, Klopp’s words ‘angered’ some at Man City who felt his comments were ‘borderline xenophobic’, while also whipping up tensions ahead of an already fiery clash.
On two previous occasions, both a City supporters’ bus and the team bus were attacked on their way into Anfield – in 2015 and 2018 respectively – and they feel Klopp’s comments will have done little to calm the ill will between the clubs and their fans.
It was also noted that Klopp’s comments were more antagonistic towards City than Guardiola’s pre-match comments about Liverpool, who did not play up the rivalry despite previous tensions away from the pitch.
Liverpool issued a statement after the game condemning the fans who threw coins at Guardiola – while Klopp also apologised – while the Reds also criticised City fans for their ‘vile chants relating to football stadium tragedies’ which also saw the away concourse vandalised with graffiti of a similar nature.