Jurgen Klopp insisted there is “no problem” with Sadio Mane after being blanked by his furious forward at full-time at Old Trafford.
Klopp opted to leave Mane out of the starting line-up for Liverpool’s huge game against Manchester United as Diogo Jota was handed a start.
Jota rewarded Klopp’s faith with a goal whilst Mane was left frustrated having come off the bench and failed to get in on the act.
It was a successful night for Liverpool with a 4-2 win – their first victory at Old Trafford in seven years – to boost their top four ambitions.
But Mane visibly showed his frustrations and refused to acknowledge Klopp when he tried to congratulate him at full-time.
Responding to the incident after the game, Klopp told Sky Sports: “No there’s no problem.
“Yesterday I made a late decision in training to go with Diogo Jota. I would usually explain it but there was no time for that. It is all fine.”
Despite Klopp playing down the incident, Reds legend Graeme Souness accused Mane of “disrespecting” both Klopp and Liverpool with his reaction.
Souness told Sky Sports: “It’s never happened to me, so I can’t tell you what I’d be like in that situation, but I would not be happy.
“I think he should’ve shook his hand. He doesn’t want a cuddle, doesn’t want to be loved by Jurgen, but he should show a bit of respect.
“It’s disrespectful to the manager, disrespectful, most importantly, to the football club.
“Of course he’s not happy at being left out, but can he really argue? He’s not had a great season.
“How could you argue with the fact he’s been a sub and Liverpool have won here at Old Trafford 4-2, which is not a happy hunting ground for them.”
Despite Mane’s frustrations, Liverpool’s win keeps their hopes of a top four finish to secure Champions League football alive.
Klopp said: “Great fight, good game, intense, how a derby should be.
“Since I’m at Liverpool, our first win at Old Trafford. Good timing, I would say.
“We needed it, obviously. We fought hard for it, we deserved it, so all good.”