Later News Aug 22

Klopp suggests fans who enjoy Burnley’s style of play should watch wrestling instead

Liverpool may have secured a 2-0 win over Burnley at Anfield last evening (SGT), but Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was far from happy over the Clarets’ notoriously aggressive style of play.


While Klopp’s men found themselves on the end of several painful Burnley challenges during the game, the referee on the day – the infamous Mike Dean – refused to brandish a single card.


Indeed, Burnley committed 12 fouls against the home team, all of which went unpunished by Dean – a surprise, really, given that he is famous for using every opportunity of a booking to put on an interpretive dance performance for the audience.


Dean’s reticence to reach for the cards, however, stems from a revamp in the rules in the English Premier League (EPL) which requires match officials to be more lenient with tackles as compared to last season.


WATCH: Klopp delighted with incredible Anfield atmosphere in Burnley win


Given that these new set of rules were drawn up by the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL), which is headed by the incomparably hopeless Mike Riley, it is no surprise that they have failed to stand up to any sort of scrutiny after just two EPL matchweeks.


Klopp was less than impressed with what he thought was a far too lenient performance from Dean, and suggested that “wrestling” might be a better sport to watch for those who approved of the sort of challenges Burnley made.


“I'm not 100% sure if (officials) are going in the right direction with these decisions,” said Klopp. “It's like we're going 10 to 15 years backwards. The rules are like they are, but you cannot defend these situations. That's how it makes the game really tricky.


“The message now is let the game flow, but nobody exactly knows what that means. I like decisions that favour the offensive team, that's fine. But we have to stick to protecting the players. We cannot deny that. If you like that sort of thing, watch wrestling.”


Despite Burnley’s best efforts to ‘Layeth the Smacketh Down’ on Klopp’s men, they were unable to do anything when it came to actually playing football, as Liverpool secured all three points courtesy of a goal in the 18th minute by Diogo Jota…


As well this sweetly-struck effort in the 69th minute by Sadio Mane.


In his post-match conference – once he had cooled down from his rant about the roughness of Burnley’s challenges – Klopp took some time out to praise his full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kostas Tsimikas, both of whom registered assists on the day.


WATCH: Tsimikas' first day at Liverpool


Said Klopp: “Both full-backs had a good game. Both spectacular, if you want, with two nice (assists) – Kostas with the cross and Trent with the little cheeky curve ball or whatever for Sadio.


“They were defensively really good as well in a really difficult game from a defensive point of view.”




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