‘There’s going to be fire if I speak’ – Liverpool's Mohamed Salah on Jurgen Klopp row

Egyptian star and Liverpool boss clash during 2-2 draw at West Ham

Mohamed Salah, left, and boss Jurgen Klopp argued on the touchline during Saturday's 2-2 draw at West Ham. Getty Images
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Mohamed Salah spoiled Jurgen Klopp's hopes of playing down their touchline argument at West Ham as the Liverpool star claimed there would be “fire” if he stopped to speak following the 2-2 draw on Saturday.

The Reds saw their fading Premier League title chances suffer another blow at the London Stadium just days after their 2-0 defeat to Everton in the Merseyside derby.

They led 2-1 midway through the second half but Michail Antonio effectively ended their challenge for top spot when he made it 2-2 with 13 minutes left.

Salah had been waiting to come on before Antonio’s goal and was involved in an angry exchange with Klopp.

It ended with fellow substitute Darwin Nunez pushing Salah away as he remonstrated with the Liverpool boss.

“We spoke about it in the dressing room and that is done for me,” Klopp insisted.

Asked if Salah was satisfied with it, Klopp claimed: “That was my impression.”

But when Salah walked through the mixed zone after the game, he admitted: “There’s going to be a fire today if I speak.”

After quarter-final defeats in the FA Cup and Europa League, Klopp's farewell season is fizzling out. This result left them rank outsiders in the title race behind Manchester City and Arsenal.

Salah has been linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League for the past 12 months and this spat will do nothing to quell speculation that he will follow his manager out of Anfield in the summer.

The Reds are reported to be close to appointing Feyenoord boss Arne Slot as Klopp's successor.

Liverpool made five changes after Wednesday's loss at Goodison Park but a flat opening 45 minutes followed in east London until Jarrod Bowen headed home a cross by Mohammed Kudus after Liverpool switched off from a short corner.

Whatever the German said at the break worked as the Reds emerged fired up and levelled within three minutes when Luis Diaz teed up Andrew Robertson, who dug out a shot that Alphonse Areola could only push in via the post.

The turnaround was complete after 65 minutes when Cody Gakpo’s scuffed effort deflected off Angelo Ogbonna and Tomas Soucek hit his clearance against the unfortunate Areola before the ball rolled into the net.

Liverpool had chances to put the match to bed, but it proved a familiar story as they conceded an equaliser when Antonio headed in from a Bowen cross to ensure the points were shared.

Third-placed Liverpool are two points off leaders Arsenal and have played a game more, while Manchester City have two matches in hand on Klopp’s side and a one-point advantage.

Klopp added: “I don’t think about it, really. So, I said before we need to win our games. We didn’t win the game and that doesn’t improve our situation now massively.

“They play and do they look like they will lose two or three games? No, I don’t think so but honestly I am not angry or whatever. I don’t think about it.

“It is just we have to win football games and let’s see what that means at the end. What do we have now 75 points? 84 is possible. That is a good target to try to do that.”

West Ham boss David Moyes was in a light-hearted mood when asked about his 14th battle with old sparring partner Klopp.

“I’ll be glad he’s gone,” Moyes joked. "I hate to say it because I worked against him in the other clubs who are probably the biggest rivals (Everton and Manchester United) but he has been immense for Liverpool.

“I think he is the daddy there and he has been able to control a big football club, which is not easy to do. I am glad to see the back of him!”

Updated: April 27, 2024, 6:23 PM