Jurgen Klopp and Roy Keane were dramatically at loggerheads on Sky Sports after Liverpool’s victory over Arsenal with the Reds boss bemused at believing he heard the word ‘sloppy’ used to describe his team’s display.
Goals from Sadio Mane, Andrew Robertson and Diogo Jota sealed all three points for the hosts at Anfield after Alexandre Lacazette’s early strike, as Klopp’s side maintained their 100 per cent win-record this season.
But upon starting his post-match interview on Monday Night Football, the German questioned as to whether he was correct in hearing Keane moments earlier stating Liverpool’s performance was ‘sloppy’ – and the former Manchester United captain later clarified he said the Reds had ‘sloppy moments’ in what was a tense exchange.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left stunned at the beginning of his post-match interview
Klopp believed he heard Roy Keane used the word ‘sloppy’ to describe his side’s performance
When asked by presenter David Jones what was good about the match, Klopp responded with: ‘Everything. Did I hear right that Mr Keane said we had a sloppy performance tonight? Did he say that?’
Keane reacted sharply, saying: ‘I thought they gave up one or two opportunities which they’ll be disappointed with.’
A still confused Klopp then said: ‘I’m not sure if I heard it right, maybe he’s talking about another game. It cannot be this game, sorry.
‘That’s an incredible description of this game. It was absolutely exceptional. Nothing was sloppy, absolutely nothing…’
Yet Keane did not back down and attempted to clarify his comments: ‘I think you might have misheard me, I’ve said there were sloppy moments but I think you’ve been outstanding. I’ve been giving the club nothing but praise. I’m not sure you heard me correctly there.’
After the interview was finished, Keane then quipped: ‘Very sensitive, isn’t he? Jesus – imagine if they’d lost!’
A somewhat frosty exchange between the pair played out live on Monday Night Football
Klopp insisted his team’s performance was ‘absolutely exceptional’ after their 3-1 victory
In the seconds before Klopp was interviewed live from the MNF studio, Keane did use the word sloppy in describing Klopp’s side – in moments on Monday evening and against Leeds United in their opening 4-3 win.
‘They were sloppy on one or two occasions on the back but job done and a good start to the season,’ Keane said.
‘Arsenal do have quality so there was a chance [they would score]. Liverpool were sloppy against Leeds, they did well against Chelsea, they were sloppy again tonight but they’ve got nine points.
‘They’re capable of winning games when they’re not at their best and that’s the sign of a good team.’
Klopp admitted in a later press conference that he had misunderstood Keane’s comments
In a later press conference, Klopp clarified his position with a conciliatory explanation: ‘I came to the microphone and didn’t see them talking. I only heard them in a speaker and I heard sloppy. I misunderstood so no problem – it is all fine. I didn’t see us being sloppy in defending.
‘I was not harsh. I came to the mic and I didn’t see them talking, I only heard them through the speaker and I heard “sloppy” something, and in this moment I misunderstood it obviously.
‘No problem. I just asked “did he say?” and obviously he didn’t say so it’s all fine.’
Klopp was clearly extremely happy with his side’s performance on Monday night, as they leapfrogged neighbours Everton at the top-end of the Premier League table.
‘This game – wow, I have to say, there were moments when they were offside and Ali [Alisson] had to make a save but there were not too many of them,’ Klopp remarked on MNF.
Sadio Mane celebrates with his team-mates after his equaliser moments after Arsenal’s goal
Andy Robertson nipped in to score Liverpool’s second as the hosts turned the match around
‘We had to be brave enough to cause them problems and that’s how it worked. We didn’t stop – that’s very important. At half time, I liked it so much that I thought we couldn’t keep it going.
‘That’s a good sign. It was a difficult pre-season for everyone. It’s been a strange season. Everton have three new players, flying – really good team I have to say.
‘Leeds, Chelsea and Arsenal is tough so nine points is good.’
Liverpool fell behind when Robertson failed to deal with a cross and allowed Lacazette to beat Alisson from six yards but the title holders roared back with goals from Mane, Robertson and a home debut goal from substitute Jota.
Many looked at Liverpool’s start to the campaign and wondered whether they would be found out in games against Leeds, Chelsea and Arsenal but they appear to be getting stronger with each performance and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes they set a daunting standard.
Diogo Jota scored a late volley on his home debut to seal all three points for the champions
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted the champions set a daunting standard in the league
‘They set the bar and they’re probably the best standard that the Premier League has seen in many years,’ said Arteta.
‘They have a lot of good work, a lot of belief in the way they play, great recruitment. This is where we have to get and obviously we’re still a long way from getting there.’
Jota, who cost Liverpool £41million when he signed from Wolves 10 days ago, sparkled in a late cameo and was thrilled to get off the mark so quickly, saying: ‘It’s an amazing feeling. I just wish it could be with a full stadium – that would be even more special. I’ve got one. I want more.’