Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he “doesn’t like” the defensive style played by Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur side.
Speaking after Saturday evening’s 1-1 draw at Anfield, he criticised the visitors’ lack of possession, saying they “should do more for the game”.
The result hands Manchester City the initiative in the title race, despite Liverpool going top on goal difference — the reigning champions could take a three point lead if they defeat Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.
Tottenham were always likely to be Liverpool’s toughest opponent in their title run-in, and so it proved to be.
They scored the opening goal of the game in the 56th minute when Son swept home from a flowing break.
Liverpool equalised through a deflected Luis Diaz strike with just under 20 minutes remaining, having previously struggled to create clear chances against Tottenham’s impressive rearguard.
Asked whether he was impressed with Spurs’ defending, Klopp replied: “I’m sorry I’m the wrong person for that, I don’t like this kind of football. But that’s my personal problem.
“I think they’re world-class, and I think they should do more for the game. I think the game against Liverpool they had 36, 38 per cent possession.
“But it’s my problem. I cannot coach it. So that’s why I cannot do it. So yes, world-class players block all the balls, really difficult. Fine, whatever. fine, absolutely fine. I just can’t. I respect everything they do, but it’s not me.”
Klopp’s comments echo criticism he made of Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side in February 2020, when he accused the Spanish team of not playing “proper football” after Liverpool were knocked out of the Champions League.
Liverpool have reached the final of this season’s Champions League, but only have three games left in the Premier League to overhaul City — against Aston Villa, Southampton, and Wolves.
Saturday’s result means City can afford to draw one of their remaining fixtures, and still win the title.
(Photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)