Juergen Klopp played peacemaker on Sunday as the Liverpool manager stepped in to calm down Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi during an angry exchange with officials on the touchline of their 2-2 Premier League draw.
De Zerbi was shown a yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor for his performance in the 69th minute at the Amex Stadium as Brighton were denied a penalty after Kaoru Mitoma’s shot hit the arm of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
The Italian manager continued to protest after the case was registered, before Klopp intervened and attempted to calm him down.
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“At that moment when he got a little angry I used my age and tried to calm him down,” the 56-year-old Klopp, who himself has clashed with the referee on several occasions in the past, told reporters.
“I just noticed that if I’m in a moment like this, there comes a moment that I can’t go back.
“I felt he was closed off to it and then I tried to calm him down. I’m not sure if he needs it or not, you can ask him, but he probably told me something about punishment, but I had no idea what he was talking about. I think he wanted a penalty…”
Asked about the incident, De Zerbi told reporters: “I love Klopp and he can do whatever he wants, because I have a lot of respect for him and I consider him one of the best coaches in the world.” I agree,” De Zerbi told reporters.
“I like his behavior and when he says something, 99 percent of the time I agree with him. In that situation, I think that was the obvious penalty. I told the referee, whatever I thought, I thought in a good way.
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