Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp lost his cool with BT Sport journalist Des Kelly over the scheduling decisions which meant Alisson Becker and Fabinho missed out for the Reds
And Klopp pulled no punches when he was quizzed on the duo by Kelly, with the Reds boss seemingly blaming the issue on BT.
“No it was because we played at 12:30 and there is no chance they could play them so that’s when we thought then we set them to [Madrid],” said the German.
“It’s not that we thought ‘oh let’s see’, if we would’ve played tonight we could’ve given it a try but we play at 12:30 so there was no chance. Who was it the idea to bring us at 12:30? Was it Watford? If you [BT] wouldn’t have said it we would’ve had to reply, ah yeah thank you for your help, really, thank you, thank you very much.”
Klopp’s outburst isn’t the first time that the German has clashed with the BT journalist.
The Reds boss took a shot at BT last November following a draw with Brighton over scheduling issues and ended up in a debate with Kelly, who stood his ground.
A host of Premier League clubs, have been hit by complications in their preparations for this weekend’s fixtures over the international break.
And Klopp admitted that Watford’s managerial switch, with the Hornets playing under Claudio Ranieri for the first time, was another factor that made preparations difficult for the Reds, suggesting that the switch may have caught some international stars unaware.
“Yeah absolutely, of course that’s how it is,” Klopp added.
“The players were all over the world and I had to tell them when we arrived here that Watford changed the manager, people don’t realise that with the national teams so that of course makes a huge difference. The line-up could be a back four, could be a back five we will see, they have had not more time to work with the players than us so I said we have to focus on ourselves and that’s what we normally do and that’s what we did this time.”
There had been reports before the game that Diogo Jota would be missing to Liverpool after the Portugal ace was sent home early from international duty with a muscle issue.
But the ex- Wolves man was fit enough to be named on the bench, with Klopp suggesting that there shouldn’t be any long-term implications.
Brazil striker Roberto Firmino, who didn’t travel for international duty, was given the nod ahead of Jota.
“That’s cool, he could train with us the last four or five days so it’s very important. Not enough to say how far he can go but he wasn’t out for too long so should be good.”