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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 22 October, 2018

Liverpool boss Klopp would rather quit than cheat

After a row over a late substitution in a 1-1 Premier League draw with Chelsea, the German coach insists his teams will never resort to gamesmanship.

 Jurgen Klopp (file pic).
Jurgen Klopp (file pic).

JURGEN KLOPP HAS angrily rejected suggestions that Liverpool sought to waste time late in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

The Reds were winning 1-0 at Anfield on Saturday when, according to Klopp, they were prevented by referee Michael Oliver from making a substitution.

Premier League champions Chelsea equalised through Willian in the 85th minute to earn a point, leaving Liverpool’s manager to argue vociferously with the officials following the final whistle.

But the German insisted he would rather quit than resort to gamesmanship.

“We try to close games down, but we don’t do it in a cynical way,” he said.

“We don’t do it ‘oh sit down again, fall to the ground’ – the day when somebody thinks like this, then I stop.

“The referee thought we do it. Watch a few of our games and you see that we don’t – we have one red card all season, and that was unlucky, so watch it and judge it, and use your own mind, don’t say they all do it.

The day when somebody thinks like this [in my team], with not being a proper sportsman and being fair, then I stop. If it’s not okay any more that we try our best, then it is something wrong.

“I watched a game yesterday [Friday] and they were on the ground, on the ground, and you didn’t know any more what they were doing.

“That’s not my kind of game. Yes, you have to be smart, yes, you have to be clever in different situations.

“We didn’t think about it [time-wasting] at all. We didn’t do it at the moment with the [Adam] Lallana substitution. We only thought ‘come on, change, tell them’ and when Adam went onto the pitch he had to tell them a lot, that’s the thing, because we changed the system.”

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