Former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt has been vocal in his defence of Jurgen Klopp following their bruising by Manchester City, speaking to Stadium Astro.
Kuyt suggested the Reds manager’s responses during his post-match interviews were “perfectly normal”.
The devastating defeat in what was hailed as a ‘title decider’ looks to have extinguished any hopes Liverpool had of reclaiming their Premier League title.
Klopp had been frosty leading up to the match at Anfield and was understandably in a spikey mood after his side’s third home loss in a row.
Klopp responses ‘justified’
When asked, the former Liverpool forward thought Klopp’s responses were justified.
“Yes, but it’s normal if you are winner like Klopp,” explained Kuyt, who made more than 200 appearances for the Reds during a six-year period.
Critics may regard Klopp’s attitude as a sign of being a ‘sore loser’, but Kuyt thinks that should be in the armour of any successful manager.
He said: “We’ve seen it with (Jose) Mourinho and (Pep) Guardiola. If these types of managers are not winning and they’re used to winning more games than they lose, of course you get a reaction.
“I am happy with that. If everyone was happy with losing, we wouldn’t watch these kinds of games.
“Of course he’s not happy about the situation. I agree with him on a lot of things. Manchester City didn’t have a shot on target in the first half.”
Kuyt: ‘Klopp was trying to wind up Guardiola’
Before the match, Klopp had claimed City were aided by a two-week break after their game against Everton was cancelled because of coronavirus.
Guardiola responded by saying he was “surprised”, while he didn’t think “Jurgen was that type of manager” (Sky Sports).
However, Kuyt said Klopp’s banter was all part of the game.
He said: “Maybe we are not used to hearing this from Klopp because he was winning everything over the past few years.
“I’ve seen it with (Rafa) Benitez and (Alex) Ferguson. Just before the game you’re trying to do something.
“Klopp was trying to wind up Guardiola because he knew he was going to react. That’s football.”
Ignoring the result for Liverpool fans, it was a thrilling game last night. Ilkay Gundogan missed a first-half penalty but went in front through the same player shortly after the interval.
Mohamed Salah dispatched his own spot-kick but parity was short-lived as Guardiola’s men turned up the heat.
Amid an Alisson meltdown, another Gundogan goal was followed by strikes by Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden during a devastating 20-minute spell.
The setback leaves Liverpool ten points behind league leaders City having played one game more.
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