London: While a comprehensive win over Manchester United has seen Liverpool keep Champions League hopes alive for the next season, another major talking point from Thursday night’s encounter at Old Trafford was Sadio Mane’s reaction to manager Jurgen Klopp at the end of the game. While the player refused to shake hands with the manager, Klopp said there wasn’t much to read into the episode.
“Yesterday I made a late decision in training, really late, and changed Diogo for Sadio and my players are used to it that I explain that but I didn’t do that yet… and in that moment I remembered it again, so yes, Sadio was obviously slightly angry, but that’s all,” he said as reported by liverpoolfc.com.
Commenting on whether the pre-match protesting by Manchester United fans had any impact on the Liverpool boys, Klopp said: “No, we were not really aware of that. We got information, something happened to our bus and so we had to change the bus, but it was before we were in [it]. Our ride to the stadium was completely fine, the police did an incredible job. I am not sure if for us they were needed, but they were there and so we didn’t recognise any trouble or whatever. We just heard about it, that there was something, but it didn’t disturb us or our preparation or whatever.”
Klopp also said that the whole idea was to focus on the strengths of his own boys and staying flexible helped the boys get the much-deserved win.
“We just did what we had to do. They had their system, which we tried to use; in the back of the midfield, they are incredibly strong but if you are flexible you can at least cause them some problems — and we were flexible in midfield and the front line. The passing game from the last line became better and better and so we played a good game. We cannot decide these games early all the time, especially against United, so we had to fight until the end, but who cares? We got it, so all good,” he said.