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English Premier League

Jose Mourinho blames Jurgen Klopp for Manchester United’s 0-0 draw at Liverpool

Anfield boss accuses his counterpart of parking the bus in 0-0 stalemate but Mourinho says Klopp lacked attacking ambition

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 10:21am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 10:45pm

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp pointed the finger of blame at each other after their teams’ much-anticipated showdown ended in a forgettable 0-0 draw.

Having averaged 3.2 goals per game before Saturday’s match, United changed tack for the trip to Anfield, producing an extremely cautious display that moved Klopp to assert the visitors had played for a point.

United’s approach was in stark contrast to that of Manchester City, who routed Stoke City 7-2 to go two points clear of their title rivals at the Premier League summit, but Mourinho said Klopp had been jointly responsible.

“I was waiting for Jurgen to change,” the United manager said.

“I was waiting for him to go more attacking, but he kept the three strong midfielders all the time where he was having control because I only had [Ander] Herrera and [Nemanja] Matic.

“When I brought on [Jesse] Lingard and [Marcus] Rashford, I was waiting for him to give me more space to counter, but he didn’t give me that.”

Seeking to ward off accusations his team had played with undue conservatism, Mourinho suggested Klopp should have been more proactive and paid him a backhanded compliment by praising Liverpool’s defensive organisation.

“I know that probably you think we were defensive and they were offensive,” he said.

“Well, you were at home and you don’t move anything? I don’t know. I was waiting for that. He didn’t.

“I think he did well, honestly. He didn’t let the game break. They were very good from the defensive point of view.”

In a post-match television interview, Klopp said Mourinho’s defensive tactics would not be tolerated from a Liverpool manager.

“I’m sure we could not do this at Liverpool. That’s how it is. But obviously at Manchester it’s OK,” he said. “I don’t judge this.”

The result kept Liverpool seven points below United and left them nine points behind leaders City.

While Klopp defended his team’s display, his comments indicated he does not consider his side to be on United’s level.

“For me today, one team who can become champions this year was in our stadium and is not a world apart from us,” the German told his post-match press conference.

“It’s not that we are playing different planets and they are really good and we do not find the entrance to the stadium.”