Referee Felix Brych reportedly hit back at Jurgen Klopp after the Liverpool boss claimed his treatment of Sadio Mane was “unfair” in the his side’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid.
The Reds have left themselves plenty to do in the return leg at Anfield next week after a poor display on Tuesday night.
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Klopp’s side were 2-0 down at half-time following goals from Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio, and despite Mohamed Salah halving the deficit just after the break, Vinicius soon struck again to give the Spanish giants a commanding lead ahead of the second leg clash on Wednesday.
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Klopp admitted his side didn’t deserve to win the game due to a sloppy performance Jamie Carragher described as the worst he’s seen in his six-year stewardship, but the German boss also claimed Brych was partly to blame for the result.
The Reds boss claimed the referee failed to spot what he thought was a clear foul on Mane in the build-up to Asensio’s goal and approached Brych to voice his displeasure after the game.
The pair remained in conversation as they headed towards the tunnel, with Klopp – as reported by the Liverpool Echo – saying that Brych had been “unfair” on his side.
But Brych pointed out Klopp’s hypocrisy, claiming: “What you’re doing now is unfair too.”
After the game, Klopp was critical of his team’s performance but couldn’t resist having a go at the referee.
He said: “The situation with Sadio, what the ref did tonight I have to say I don’t understand.
“For me that was something personal because he dealt with the situation with Sadio, which was a clear foul, like he was a diver or whatever.
“From that moment on whenever Sadio went down he didn’t get anything. That is not right. That is what I told him after the game, that I thought he was unfair with Sadio.
“That doesn’t change anything at all. He (Brych) didn’t lose the game. We were not good enough to get a better result, but in these moments you need just an ‘OK’ ref. That would have been enough.”