Jose Mourinho has defended Jurgen Klopp’s actions after the Liverpool manager was cautioned for leaving his technical area during Manchester United’s win on Saturday.
Klopp ran 20 metres down the touchline to argue with his player Dejan Lovren and officials quickly stepped in to order the Liverpool boss back to his area. Fourth official Martin Atkinson spoke with Klopp and referee Craig Pawson decided there was no further action needed.
Mourinho was sent to the stands last September for momentarily stepping out of his technical area, but the United boss has praised the officials for not over-reacting.
Klopp was furious with Lovren for getting tangled up with Marouane Fellaini as Liverpool were chasing the game, and Mourinho thinks the referee handled the situation perfectly. ‘Probably you are not expecting my answer – but I’m happy with the decision,’ Mourinho said after the game.
‘He (Klopp) was not speaking against the referee. He was upset with a player and the same happened to me against Crystal Palace where I was upset with my player and therefore they (the officials) understood that too.
‘I think Martin Atkinson, after so many years of this, I think made the right decision. I saw it. He (Klopp) was very upset with his player and not at the referee.
‘If you leave the technical area by a couple of metres – or in this case 20 metres – but to speak to your own player and not to complain about the referee’s decision, then they made the right decision.’
Liverpool were unable to produce the comeback against United after giving up two quick goals in the first half. An own goal in the second period gave the Reds hope, but Klopp’s side failed to register a single shot on target in the closing stages.
The result tightened United’s grip on second place in the Premier League, while Liverpool dropped down to fourth after Tottenham beat Bournemouth on Sunday.