Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta were quick to play down their bust-up during the first half of Liverpool’s win over Arsenal.
Sadio Mane and Takehiro Tomiyasu came together after a heavy challenge from the Liverpool forward and Arteta remonstrated for action from the referee.
Jurgen Klopp then came out to argue the point in defence of his player, and as tempers threatened to boil over, Arteta was held back by his coaching staff.
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Mane then went on to open the scoring in a 4-0 win for the home side, and speaking after the game, both Klopp and Arteta were more conciliatory.
Klopp said: “It wasn’t the plan – the situation was that Sadio [Mane] goes for a clean heading challenge, no one makes a foul and they get up and for me it’s a bit too obvious that there was nothing. He’s just a physical player – you can’t do that it happens too often and it’s not right. When they rise up from the bench it’s difficult to not get up and say something.
“It was about the situation that it was no foul from Sadio [Mane] but the Arsenal bench went up like it was a red card. I asked what they wanted in that situation.
“We had to take Sadio off against Atletico [Madrid in the Champions League] because they wanted him to get a yellow card.
The referee did really well in that situation – I deserved a yellow card. It wasn’t OK and that is what I said. It just happened in the moment.Arteta was also less fired up with the result settled, explaining: “He was defending his team, I was defending my team, that’s it. It doesn’t matter. Yes I did [speak to Jurgen Klopp after the match] and I congratulated him. These moments are left on the pitch.”
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