'You try to create a headline!' - Prickly Klopp in heated schedule debate with TV reporter after more VAR anguish

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Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2020-21Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp was engaged a heated debate with a TV reporter as he first discussed the VAR decisions that went against his side before berating the packed fixture schedule and the role of broadcast companies in the decision-making process.

The injury-depleted Reds headed to the Amex Stadium aware that they were going to have to dig deep against a Premier League rival that has not had the rub of the green this season.

It appeared early on as though the Seagulls would be left cursing their luck once again, with Neal Maupay firing a poor penalty wide of the post.

Liverpool edged their way into the game after establishing a foothold and thought they had taken the lead midway through the first half when Mohamed Salah bundled the ball over Matt Ryan and into the net.

He had, however, strayed offside by the narrowest of margins, with his toe slipping beyond that line.

Diogo Jota did find the target for the Reds on the hour mark, as his rich vein of form continued, before Sadio Mane – who replaced a frustrated Salah – saw a fine headed finish ruled out.

Andy Robertson Danny Welbeck Liverpool Brighton 2020-21

One goal looked like being enough heading into stoppage-time, but Andy Robertson then caught Danny Welbeck when trying to clear inside the box and referee Stuart Attwell eventually pointed to the spot after a review.

Liverpool were left incensed at that decision , as two points slipped through their grasp , but Klopp was eager to avoid making any headline-grabbing comments at the final whistle.

He told BT Sport : “We are used to armpits. We have a toe today. It is how it is. I think the decisions were right.”

Pressed on whether the right call was made, with it being put to Klopp that Jordan Henderson had revealed that Welbeck told him it wasn't a penalty: “You try to create a headline.

“The ref whistled it. You try always, all the time. Today I say it wasn’t a penalty. What do you want me to say? I said it was a penalty because the ref whistled it, after watching it.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the boys for how they played today. We struggled a bit in the first half an hour with the new last line, because we didn’t drop in the right time. We sorted that but in the second half we had some problems with energy.

“In the situations around the goals, we were brilliant. Mo’s goal was a brilliant goal. Sadio’s header was outstanding. All good, it’s just tough times. That’s how it is.

“You always need a bit of luck to win a tough away game, but today we didn’t have luck. I thought the front three played really well together.”

The interview continued with reporter Des Kelly taking exception to comments made by Klopp about the Premier League fixture schedule, with the Reds boss appearing to blame the broadcasters for the hectic run of games and early kick-offs.

Kelly initially asked Klopp about James Milner's injury and whether it was a hamstring problem, to which the German replied sarcastically: “Yeah, congratulations.”

The television reporter then asked if that comment was aimed at him personally, with Klopp adding: “No, but you work for them, yeah? Hamstring. Surprise. And they had injuries as well because it's a tough time. But ask Chris Wilder how we avoid that.”

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Kelly continued: “Maybe you're firing at the wrong target. We are broadcasters, we work within Premier League rules, and Premier League makes the rules, that's the Premier League clubs, so shouldn't you be talking to Premier League clubs? Shouldn't you be talking to chief executives...”

To which Klopp replied: “I don't know how often I have to say it: you pick us for 12:30 kick-offs. You picked it. Not you, personally. But you did, didn't you? Us on 12.30. Between now and December and New Year, there's one more Wednesday and Saturday 12.30 kick-off.

“Playing 12:30 after Wednesday is really dangerous for the Premier League players.”