Jurgen Klopp felt referee Stuart Attwell let too many poor challenges slide in last night’s match between Liverpool and Burnley at Turf Moor.
Centre-back Joe Gomez was stretchered off the field in the first half with an ankle injury, which he will have scanned today.
Klopp was not surprised at the physicality of the Burnley team but believed the match officials should have done more to protect players from harm.
“I’m pretty sure I don’t make a lot of friends, but that’s not my job,” said Klopp, as quoted by the Belfast Telegraph. “I said after the first challenge, I don’t know who did it, a sliding tackle from six/seven yards, getting the ball, everybody likes it, I said to the ref, ‘It’s no foul but please tell them you cannot do that’.
“Nobody can judge that. You get the ball, nice, but it’s like bowling because you get the player as well. It happened four or five times, everybody likes it, but Joe is injured, and probably not only a little bit.
“We don’t know (how bad) at the moment, we sent him home so we have to see.
“They wanted to be aggressive. Aggression is a part of football. You try something and you need someone to say, ‘Be careful’.
“There were a lot of situations, challenges. There was nothing to say, ‘Wow, too much’, they were normal challenges. But with six or seven yards and then (slide) these times are over. They are over.
“We all want to win, and there are different ways of doing it. Somebody has to tell you to stop doing it, make two more steps and make a normal challenge.
“The boy with the ball is a bit unlucky because what can happen is what happened to Joe Gomez. I think the referee has to make sure that things like this don’t happen constantly. It’s not how it should be. Let’s play football.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche, however, had no issue with the way in which his players went about challenging for the ball.
“I thought there were some excellent challenges. I thought some of the timing of the challenges were superb. That’s part of that front-foot mentality,” he said.
“You’ve got to win the ball, you’ve got to challenge against these boys. You’ve got to put a marker on the game.
“I thought we were effective. We mixed it. Not effective enough, don’t get me wrong. But we’ve got to get back to being ‘us’.”