Jürgen Klopp hit out at the Premier League’s broadcasters over their match scheduling after seeing his Liverpool squad hit by more injuries as they dropped two points at Brighton.
Leading 1-0 thanks to Diogo Jota’s second-half strike, Liverpool were denied victory after a stoppage-time VAR intervention led to a penalty for the home side, converted by Pascal Gross.
Earlier Klopp’s depleted squad was dealt a further blow when James Milner, starting his third game in six days, was forced off the field in the 74th minute with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.
In a punchy post-match interview with BT Sport’s Des Kelly, the German bristled when questioned about Milner’s injury, sparking a back-and-forth between the pair over scheduling.
Below is the transcript of the exchange:
DK: And James Milner, hamstring was it?
JK: Yeah, congratulations.
DK: What me personally?
JK: But you work for them, yeah. Hamstring, surprise, and they had injuries but ask Chris Wilder how we can avoid that.
DK: Maybe you’re firing at the wrong target? We are broadcasters, we work within the Premier League rules, the Premier League makes the rules, that’s the Premier League clubs, so shouldn’t you be talking to Premier League clubs?
JK: I don’t know how often I have to say it, you picked the 12.30pm, not you personally, but you did it, us on 12.30pm, between now and December and New Year, one more Wednesday …
DK: When you say picked the 12.30pm, the Premier League clubs chose that slot, there’s a reason that slot is there.
JK: These are difficult times.
DK: Of course these are difficult times, the stadiums are empty, the broadcasters are supporting the game.
JK: If you play at 3pm or 5.30pm it’s exactly the same.
Earlier, on the VAR decisions, Klopp said: “I think the two offside, I asked, they said yes, was really close, but we are used to it. The penalty, I think the decisions were right.”
Kelly put it to Klopp that some of the Brighton players did not think it was a penalty, the Liverpool manager, clearly riled, added: “You try to create again, on my cost, a headline, because that’s how it is. If I say it now it was not … the ref whistled it. Don’t look like this, you try, always, all the time. Today I say it was a penalty, you are not happy with that answer, so keep your answers to yourself.”