Dejan Lovren on crutches but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp defends Craig Gardner’s tackle
Liverpool // Jurgen Klopp defended West Bromwich Albion midfielder Craig Gardner for the challenge that left Liverpool fearing their defender Dejan Lovren suffered a long-term injury.
The Croatia international left Anfield on crutches and will have his leg examined on Monday after he was stretchered off in the 2-2 draw at Anfield and Klopp said: “We hope it is not too serious. He will have a scan.”
But Gardner was not even penalised for a tackle that prompted questions if it merited a red card and led to words being exchanged between the two benches.
However, Klopp said: “He played the ball, a millisecond before he hit Dejan. It was like the whole game: on the edge of everything.”
Albion manager Tony Pulis accused two Liverpool players of committing poorer tackles, saying: “The two worst challenges in the game are James Milner’s challenge on Gardner and Martin Skrtel’s challenge on Salomon Rondon.
“Gardner has played the ball. Skrtel has gone right over the ball.”
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The two managers did not shake hands after the final whistle but both played down the altercations involving them and their respective staffs.
“It was not a friendly game,” said Klopp. “There were some words during the game. Usually I shake hands but I want to go to my team.”
He directed them to applaud the Kop after the final whistle and explained: “It was a special atmosphere, the best in my time in England. I enjoyed the atmosphere with my whole body. It was absolutely great.”
Pulis insisted he was unconcerned by his Liverpool counterpart’s exaggerated celebration of Divock Origi’s 95th-minute leveller, adding: “He is animated. I have been animated all my life on the bench. I have no problems with that. It is his dugout.”
Pulis queried how the officials came to the decision to disallow a goal by the offside Jonas Olsson on the stroke of half-time. “There was just confusion,” he said.
“They tell me he is offside so why he hasn’t the linesman put his flag up? The referee has pointed to kick-off and then the linesman has dragged the referee 50 yards across to talk to him. I was celebrating.”
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Published: December 13, 2015 04:00 AM