‘He was a bit frustrated’ – Conte responds to Liverpool manager’s comment on his side

Antonio Conte
Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Antonio Conte has hit back at Jurgen Klopp for his comments about Tottenham’s style of play against Liverpool, suggesting the Reds manager was simply looking for an excuse for not finding a way past their game plan.

The honours were even at Anfield on Saturday after Heung-min Son’s second half opener for Spurs was later cancelled out by a deflected Luis Diaz strike. 

Spurs were content in letting Liverpool have possession and finished proceedings with 35 per cent of the ball (BBC Sport), but sprung away on the counter-attack when they were given the opportunities to do so. 

The visitors’ compactness particularly frustrated Klopp, whose side dropped crucial points in the Premier League title race, revealing his dislike for coaching a more defensive style of football. 

He said (via Sky Sports): “I am sorry, I am the wrong person to ask about [Spurs’ defending] because I don’t like this kind of football. But that is my personal problem. I think they are world-class and I think they should do more for the game.

“It’s a game against Liverpool, they have 36 per cent possession. But that is my problem. I cannot coach it. So that is why I cannot do it. 

“World-class players, [who] block all the balls. It is really difficult. Atletico Madrid is doing it. Fine, whatever, absolutely fine, it’s just I can’t. But yes I respect everything they do. But it’s not me.”

Although Klopp later regretted his criticism (The Athletic), his opposition in Conte believes the German coach was ‘frustrated’ at not being able to solve Tottenham’s set-up in Merseyside and feels Liverpool actually gained a point instead of dropping two. 

The Itaian said (via Football.London): “We analysed the game the day after, and for sure if there was a team that deserved to win, it was Tottenham not Liverpool.

“In this game, I think Klopp understood he gained one point not lost two points.
Jurgen is intelligent, he was a bit frustrated after the game. 

“At the same time, for us, for a top coach, it’s important to be focused on your team, not your opponents. To be focused on your opponents, means you want to find an excuse or ability because it means something in your job was wrong.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

Obviously each manger will have their own methods that they deploy, and Saturday’s match was a case of two different styles coming together. 

When you go to a team like Liverpool, it is difficult to go out and play against them otherwise you will get picked off with the quality they have, and Conte clearly recognised that with his set-up. 

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