Jurgen Klopp history with Paul Tierney: Liverpool manager banned after latest beef with Premier League referee
The wild 4-3 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield left Liverpool taking home all three points, but there was plenty of controversy surrounding the match, and some of it seems to be personal in nature.
Right in the thick of it was Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who took aim at the officiating both during and after the game. Klopp has been involved in media spats with referee Paul Tierney before, and he again hinted at a personal beef between the two.
There were multiple calls throughout the match that left both sides fuming. Oliver Skipp was not punished for a terrible tackle, stamping right on the shin of Luis Diaz. Then late in the match, Skipp was the recipient of a dangerous high boot from Diogo Jota who connected with his studs right onto Skipp's forehead, leaving him bloodied.
The animosity that built on both sides with the frustration towards the officiating boiled over onto the pitch and led to heightened emotions down the stretch of the game. Tottenham completed a wild comeback from 3-0 down to equalise on a messy Richarlison goal in stoppage time, only to watch Jota win it for Liverpool less than a minute after the restart.
On May 18, Klopp was given a two-match touchline ban - one of which was suspended - and fined £75,000 ($93,000) by the FA for his comments following the gaem. Klopp will only serve the second game should he commit a further breach before the end of the 2023-24 season.
MORE: Recap the mad 4-3 Liverpool win over Tottenham that featured late goals and controversy
Jurgen Klopp fumes at Paul Tierney after win over Tottenham
Following the thrilling victory over Tottenham at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp suggested he has personal issues with referee Paul Tierney.
"We have our history with [Paul] Tierney," Klopp said after the match, speaking with English media, including Sky Sports. "I really don’t know what he has against us, he has said there is no problems but that cannot be true.
"How he looks at me, I don’t understand it. In England nobody has to clarify these situations, it’s really tricky and hard to understand."
Klopp was visibly upset with the officiating throughout the match, which culminated in his exuberant celebration of Diogo Jota's late winner. He ran straight to the fourth official John Brooks and yelled aggressively in his face, appearing to pull his hamstring in the process.
Watch in UK:
🥴 What do you make of Jurgen Klopp celebrating in front of the fourth official's face? #LIVTOT— Sporting News Football Club (@sn_footballclub) April 30, 2023
🎥: @footballdaily pic.twitter.com/NX5cBPf0iE
Watch in USA:
JOTA WINS IT! #LIVTOT pic.twitter.com/C1wpo4uS3f— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) April 30, 2023
Following the match, Klopp admitted he was out of line with his celebration, but argued that the injury he suffered was punishment enough, and made further claims that the officiating crew was unprofessional towards him.
"It is not okay we shouldn’t do that, yes, we are role models, all clear. But we are human beings first and foremost," Klopp said in his post-match press conference. "Before you are a role model you’re a human being and that happens in the moment. But I didn’t say a bad word to the fourth official – not at all – and he wouldn’t have deserved it anyway because he didn’t do anything wrong but I turned around to the fourth official, celebrated in that direction and pulled my hamstring probably in that moment. So fair enough, all good. I’m already punished, I got a yellow card on top of that."
PGMOL followed up on the comments, and after reviewing audio from the official comms, confirmed that Paul Tierney "acted in a professional manner throughout, including when issuing the caution to the Liverpool manager."
As a result, the body responsible for Premier League referees stated they "strongly refute any suggestion that Tierney's actions were improper."
Two days after the match, Jurgen Klopp confirmed the words Tierney used towards him while issuing the yellow card. Tierney apparently said to Klopp, "For me, it's a red card but because of him [fourth official] it's yellow."
"My celebration towards the fourth official, I didn't say any bad words. But was unnecessary. I got punished for that immediately, pulled my hamstring."— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) April 30, 2023
Jurgen Klopp discusses the match and his celebration of Jota's winner.#MyPLMorning | #LFC pic.twitter.com/OV35ev1VVU
Jurgen Klopp history with referee Paul Tierney
This is not the first time that Jurgen Klopp has been upset with the treatment from English referee Paul Tierney.
Back in 2021, following another game between Liverpool and Tottenham which finished 2-2, Klopp was upset with Tierney's handling of the match.
"I have no problems with any referees. Only you," Klopp appeared to say to Tierney on the field, with the conversation caught on camera.
In that match, Tierney sent Liverpool full-back Andrew Robertson off, but in Klopp's mind, was inconsistent in his decision not to issue Harry Kane a red card earlier in the match. Additionally, Klopp was upset that Liverpool were not awarded a penalty for a perceived foul on Diogo Jota by Emerson.
"I really have no idea what his [Tierney] problem is with me. Honestly, I have no idea," Klopp said post-match to English media. “You just need an objective ref who sees the situations and trust them. He told me that he thinks he [Jota] stops on purpose. That’s incredible. He had the best spot on the pitch, he was eight yards away and doesn’t give it. We have to ask him, what’s his problem.”
Liverpool history with VAR official David Coote
Adding to the Liverpool anger at the officiating crew, VAR official David Coote, who stayed his hand despite several controversial calls, has also been the target of Reds' past anger.
Following a 2021 Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park, reports stated the club was internally "concerned and confused" that no on-field action was taken by VAR after a Jordan Pickford challenge injured Virgil van Dijk.
Instead, Coote and the VAR crew decided not to take action, and then later in the match a late potential winner from Jordan Henderson ruled out for offside.