Jurgen Klopp rejects Pep Guardiola’s comments on neutrals favouring Liverpool in Premier League title race

Jurgen Klopp shrugged off Pep Guardiola’s comment that “everyone in the country supports Liverpool” and wants them to succeed by saying that half of Merseyside hopes they will not win the league.

The Liverpool manager insisted he had no problem with his Manchester City counterpart’s assertion, which he attributed to the emotion of being interviewed after the match as well as the disappointment of their Champions League semi-final elimination at the hands of Real Madrid.

Klopp argued that, amid the frustration of only drawing with Tottenham, he was wrong to criticise Antonio Conte’s defensive approach on Saturday as he now praised the Spurs manager.

Guardiola pointed out that Liverpool, despite their European pedigree, have only won one Premier League title in three decades, which Klopp accepted was accurate but disputed his view that everyone is rooting for his team.

“I live in Liverpool so, yes, here a lot of people want us to win the league – that’s true – but even here only it’s probably only 50 percent because the other people were involved in another fight, at least until yesterday,” he said, citing Everton’s battle to avoid relegation.

“As manager and I had this experience recently, after a game we are obviously massively influenced by the game, by the situation. I said – and would I say it again? No – but I said after the game: ‘They [Tottenham] play like they play and are still only fifth.’

“It felt good in that moment but it was wrong. But it was just my feeling in that moment and I could not respect Antonio more and what he is doing and how he organises teams.

“I don’t know exactly which situation Pep was in, after getting knocked of the Champions League that is obviously already difficult enough to take, but then of course Liverpool made it to the final and then you have these things like ‘they only played Villarreal, we played Real’ and then you say what you say. And he is right, on top of it.


“I was right about Tottenham, and he was right we won the only Premier League once. I have no idea if the whole country is supporting us, I don’t know that. It is not the feeling I get when we go to other places and play there, it is actually the opposite, but maybe he knows more about that than me.”

Liverpool are now three points behind City after Guardiola’s team beat Newcastle 5-0 on Sunday. Klopp’s side face Aston Villa on Tuesday and the German thinks the former Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, could replace him as manager at Anfield.

“My possible successor, yes, of course it is possible,” he added. “It is not my decision to make, it is about other parties and Stevie as well but I think it is possible.”

Roberto Firmino could be back in contention to return after a foot injury, with Klopp set to make a late decision if the forward will be involved.

There is love in Sharing