Jurgen Klopp has explained why he and Mikel Arteta ended up in an altercation during Saturday’s match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Juergen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on November 20, 2021. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Juergen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on November 20, 2021. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

During the first half of Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp got into an animated verbal disagreement that could have turned physical if not for the assistant coaches holding them back.

Klopp explained afterwards that the argument was over an incident involving Sadio Mane.

“It was a completely clean situation, nothing happened, two players jumped in the air and didn’t touch each other, really, at least not like a foul,” Klopp said.

“The bench of Arsenal went up and I asked: ‘What do you want from that?’. There was no contact really, but it looked like everybody wanted a red card.

“I am really sick of these situations, where everybody tries to go for Sadio in these moments. He is a physical player, obviously, he does make hard fouls.

“We had to take Sadio off against Atletico because they wanted him to get a yellow card.”

The issue Arteta had with the incident (understandably so) is that Mane went into the aerial duel leading with his arm, which caught Takehiro Tomiyasu in the face.

Klopp’s statement about there being some agenda against Mane looks a little silly after Mane attempted a scissor challenge on a player not on the pitch later in the half. He was booked that time.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Sadio Mane of Liverpool is shown a yellow card by Match Referee Michael Oliver during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on November 20, 2021. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Sadio Mane of Liverpool is shown a yellow card by Match Referee Michael Oliver during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on November 20, 2021. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

That’s not to mention how ridiculous it is to imply that all the managers around Europe have come together to agree to try and get Mane sent off.

If lots of different managers have a problem with the actions of just one of your players, perhaps it suggests there’s a problem with the actions of one of your players.

Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on the incident after the game.

“He was defending his team, I was defending my team, that’s it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter.

“Yes, I did [speak to Klopp after the match] and I congratulated him. These moments are left on the pitch.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Amadou Onana of Everton celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Southampton FC at Goodison Park on January 14, 2023. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Barcelona could lose out on Amadou Onana as Arsenal and Man Utd prepare offers

Arsenal and Man Utd are reportedly set to make offers for Everton's Amadou Onana, potentially outbidding Barcelona for the midfielder.
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Pedro Neto of Wolverhampton during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at Molineux on September 16, 2023 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Arsenal’s pursuit of Pedro Neto: Wolves “will discuss that closer to the summer”

It's too early for a concrete indication of Pedro Neto's asking price, with Wolves yet to make a decision, according to a report.
Liverpool's English midfielder #17 Curtis Jones (L) fights for the ball with Arsenal's Ukrainian defender #35 Oleksandr Zinchenko during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 4, 2024.(Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

2 Arsenal key players “planning to step up” training ahead of Sheffield United

Arsenal are hoping to welcome two more injured players back into the fold against Sheffield United next Monday, according to a report.
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, acknowledges the fans after the team's victory in the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal FC at City Ground on January 30, 2024 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Why Mikel Arteta is unlikely to leave Arsenal for Barcelona

Reports suggest FC Barcelona are interested in Mikel Arteta as a potential manager. However, his current success at Arsenal makes a move unlikely.
LONDON, ENGLAND: Ryan Gravenberch of Liverpool is stretchered off after picking up an injury after a tackle by Moises Caicedo of Chelsea (not pictured) during the Carabao Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on February 25, 2024. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Can Liverpool survive their injury crisis? “Herculean effort” needed

Liverpool won the League Cup on Sunday, but their injury list continues to grow as they juggle three more competitions at once.