Jurgen Klopp on Sadio Mane snub: Liverpool FC boss plays down Old Trafford incident

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 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Jurgen Klopp has played down signs of a rift with Sadio Mane after the Liverpool forward snubbed his manager at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Mane has admitted he has been in the worst form of his career this season, so Klopp’s decision to start Diogo Jota in attack alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino for Liverpool’s must-win Premier League game at Manchester United was not a huge shock.

Klopp was vindicated as Jota struck the equalising goal before Firmino (two) and Salah scored to complete a 4-2 comeback win against rivals United.

While Mane did come off the bench in the second half, the Senegal star was in no mood to welcome an approach from his boss after the final whistle as he snubbed a fist-bump with Klopp after the Liverpool manager had done the same with United players.

While Klopp said had not spoken to the player prior to Friday’s pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to West Brom, the German manager played down the suggestion his player had disrespected him.

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“I cannot make a bigger story of it as it is,” said Klopp. “Football is an emotional game and everyone expects from us to control our emotions always but it doesn’t work out always, that’s the case.

“It happened to me as a player, it happened to other players when I was their coach.

“Do you want these things to happen? No. But it’s not the first time in my life and I’m afraid to say it won’t be the last time.

“If somebody shows me five million times respect and one time not, what is then more important?

“If you had seen me as a player what I did out of emotion it was insane - and I’m a completely normal guy but it happened to me.

“We will talk about it, then it will be sorted. That’s all.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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