Manchester United’s encounter with Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon was just as feisty and combative as we’ve come to expect from the two bitter rivals. But it wasn’t just on the pitch that the temperatures rose, as Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho found themselves embroiled in a ferocious argument when the match went into stoppage time.
Liverpool’s German manager decided to launch a tirade against his Portuguese counterpart after Ander Herrera fouled Roberto Firmino with just a few minutes of the match left. Roberto Firmino was so angry with Ander Herrera’s foul, which saw him pull the Liverpool player down to the ground by his shirt, that the Brazilian forward pushed him in the chest as a retort.
Ander Herrera immediately fell to the ground, and looked towards referee Michael Oliver, while Jose Mourinho then decided to remonstrate and argue with the fourth official Craig Pawson, too. Jurgen Klopp took umbrage with Mourinho’s efforts, which is why he immediately sought to shout down the Manchester United manager. The two were separated by Craig Pawson, while they briefly shook hands when the game came to an end just a few minutes later, too.
Obviously, the sight of two Premier League managers squaring up to each other caught the eye, and after the match came to an end both managers were quizzed about it. Jose Mourinho was the first to respond, as he explained, via the Guardian,
He thought I was asking for his player to be sent off. I wasn’t. There was no problem at all. I think the game was correct. I think the players gave everything but in an emotional and professional way so the referee did very well in that part of the game – emotional and in control of good professionals. There was aggression but it was good so I think it was great publicity for the Premier League all around the world.
Unsurprisingly, Jurgen Klopp was also asked to discuss the incident. Klopp, who was furious that Wayne Rooney wasn’t booked for his foul on James Milner earlier in the second half after the England captain caught the left-back on the ankle with his studs, had a different opinion to the incident to Mourinho. When quizzed about it, Jurgen Klopp remarked,
He [Mourinho] wanted the minimum of a yellow card, I don’t know. I think the ref whistled before anything else happened. Roberto is a footballer from head to toe and he wanted to stay in the game. He could have passed the ball but that was a yellow card for Herrera and nothing else. In the end it was a yellow card for the guy who wanted to play football. It could have been even worse if someone wants to see it again and all that stuff. We [him and Mourinho] could not have the same opinion in this moment.
While there were only two goals in the highly fraught contest, there was plenty of excitement when Liverpool visited Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium. The world’s most expensive footballer Paul Pogba had a rather poor match for the Red Devils, though, as he failed to get a stranglehold in the game and then thanks to a ludicrous and inexplicable handball he conceded the penalty that James Milner converted in the 27th minute.
After this incident, Manchester United went on to create several clear cut chances, which Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Pogba all missed. However, in the 84th minute Manchester United finally converted one of these opportunities, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home after Maraoune Fellaini’s original effort had come back off the post, to extend United’s unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions.
[Featured Image by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images]