Jürgen Klopp: ‘How on earth was Vincent Kompany not sent off?’

Liverpool manager fumes over challenge on Mohamed Salah during game

Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany  tackles Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah during the Premier League game at the Etihad stadium. Kompany received a yellow card for the challenge. Photograph:   Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany tackles Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah during the Premier League game at the Etihad stadium. Kompany received a yellow card for the challenge. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

 

Jürgen Klopp was left in disbelief that Vincent Kompany was not sent off in the first half of Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester City for a tackle on Mohamed Salah the manager believed could have ended the forward’s season.

City’s captain was booked for the two-footed lunge yet Salah would have had a clear goalscoring opportunity if he had not been scythed down.

Klopp said: “I really like Vincent Kompany but how on earth is that not a red card? He is last man and he goes in. If he hits Mo more he is out for the season. It is not easy for the ref and he may not see it how I see it.

“I like him, he’s a fantastic and outstanding player. I loved Kompany at Hamburg, what a career, but situations like this happen. A player makes a decision and makes a sliding tackle. He took the risk, if Mo is on his feet and if he is not in the moment where he jumps over him then we all talk differently. Still a nice guy but a really bad decision [from the referee, Anthony Taylor].

“Do we need to open something [a limb]? In that situation, everybody knows if Mo can go through what happens then? I don’t blame anybody but in a situation like that – make a decision. When we were here in the summer there was a red card [for Sadio Mane last season]. Nobody thought about it. Was it a red card? Probably yes. Did Sadio want it? No, he didn’t want it for a second. He didn’t see him [Ederson] but he hit him.

“Here, [Kompany] saw him and he hit him but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. That’s all .You can make of it what you want, look at it and make your own opinion.”

Pep Guardiola did not offer an opinion. “It is the decision of the referee – you have to ask to the referee,” he said. “If one day in my life I speak quite well about the referee and I understand you can be banned.”

City took the lead through Sergio Agüero’s 40th-minute strike from an almost impossible angle before Roberto Firmino responded just after the hour. Leroy Sane struck the winner 18 minutes from time.

It was City’s first victory over Liverpool in five attempts and it cut the deficit to the leaders to four points.

Guardiola said: “We reduce the gap – still four points is enough points to be calm [about]. But it is a good moment to congratulate and say thank you to these incredible players. Today they show how good they are, they play against an incredible team.

“I am proud of them but not just today. We lost two games in four days but you can’t forget what they have done for 16 months. It was a good spectacle and both teams play to win. It was a final for us, because lose and it was almost over – the title defence. If we lose it is almost done, it would be so difficult. But we are four points behind them and they are the leaders. We have to fight a lot but this gives us a lot of confidence.

“The game was a real game for both sides. We beat an incredible team. We were outstanding from the first minute. We are happy for this victory to reduce the gap. Everything is open. Now it is tight again. Now we can rest and relax. I don’t remember a league so tough, there are so many huge contenders fighting for the title. Every game is a final.”

Klopp believes City rode their luck. “We were unlucky in our finishing moments,” he said. “Unluckier than City I would say. Sane scores \[off the post] and the situation with Sadio when he hit the post [and misses].

“They had periods where they dominated the game and everybody felt the intensity but we came back and had big chances. It is always like this. You have to score in those moments. When Agüero scores there is no angle. In similar situations we didn’t score.

“It was not our or City’s best game, because we both made it difficult for the other team. I have already said to the boys this is okay. We lost it but it will happen. Tonight it is not nice but it is not the biggest problem.” - Guardian

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