Jurgen Klopp warned by police after touchline row

Liverpool manager traded angry words with Sam Allardyce after Jermaine Lens’ tackle

Jürgen Klopp was instructed to calm down by a police officer after trading insults with Sam Allardyce and his backroom staff in the wake of Jeremain Lens's nasty second-half tackle on Mamadou Sakho at the Stadium of Light.

Christian Benteke had already scored the only goal of a game which leaves Liverpool seventh and revives their hopes of Champions League qualification, when Lens made a challenge Klopp believed merited a sending off. In the event, the referee brandished only a yellow card but Klopp was making no apologies for a tirade of what Sam Allardyce described as "foul and abusive language". Although the two managers and their staff shook hands as amicability was fully restored at the final whistle, Allardyce subsequently dubbed Klopp "a soft German" and was adamant Kevin Friend had been correct to settle for a booking.

Liverpool’s manager was making no apologies. “I am not too sorry,” Klopp said. “Please, it was a foul. Of course, I was angry. For me, that is a red card, finished. So my staff were emotional, the staff of Sunderland were emotional but, if you look on your ticket, that is included. If nothing happens on the pitch, you can watch the bench. But it is over and Mamadou Sakho is OK.”

Klopp was most definitely not getting carried away by the mini-renaissance, which has resulted in his side reaching the 30-point mark. “We will be celebrating the whole way here to the plane and then we fly home and go to bed,” he said, deadpan. “The best teams in the league have nine points more than we have, so it is not that much. Everyone needs a bit of luck and then we will see. We are not in wonderland – but we deserved to win.”


Even so, he would like a little more from his match-winner. “A striker who scored the decisive goal is always a positive thing,” he said. “But I’m sure Christian knows he can play better. It is the best news that there is more to come from Christian.”

If his Liverpool counterpart had reason for cautious optimism, Allardyce had to cope with a fifth successive defeat. Asked to sum up the month of December, he replied with one word: “Shite.”

With Sunderland in 19th place and seven points adrift of a safe position, he faces a vital home game on Saturday against bottom-placed Aston Villa and was clearly attempting to bolster morale before that match.

"I don't think we deserved to lose," said a manager who lost Jack Rodwell and Sebastián Coates to injury during the game. "I think we were matching Liverpool in the first half. Then they got a stroke of luck, we got kicked in the you-know-whats and it took us a while to recover. Adam Lallana was just trying to control the ball and it ran into Benteke's path. In the end our anxiety in the final third let us down. We didn't produce but we have got to keep going. We have got to keep believing."

(Guardian service)