Jurgen Klopp was unhappy with some of Burnley’s slide tackles in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory at Turf Moor, which saw Reds defender Joe Gomez carried off on a stretcher.
Liverpool came from behind to win on Wednesday night after Jack Cork’s opener thanks to goals from James Milner, Roberto Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Gomez, 21, will undergo a scan on his ankle on Thursday following a challenge from Burnley’s Ben Mee in the first half, which Klopp said could keep the England international out for a while.
“I’m pretty sure I don’t make a lot of friends, but that’s not my job,” Klopp told a news conference. “I said after the first challenge, I don’t know who did it, sliding tackle from six, seven yards, getting the ball, everybody likes it. I said to the ref: ‘It’s no foul, but please tell them you cannot do that.’
“Nobody can judge that. You get the ball, nice, but it’s like bowling because you get the player as well.
“It happened four or five times, everybody likes it, but Joe is injured, and probably not only a little bit. We don’t know in the moment, we sent him home so we have to see, but it’s his ankle, yes.”
Klopp added: “They wanted to be aggressive. Aggression is a part of football. You try something, and you need someone to say: ‘Be careful.’
“There were a lot of situations, challenges. There was nothing to say: ‘Wow, too much.’ They were normal challenges. But with six or seven yards and then [slide], these times are over. They are over.
“We all want to win football games, and there are different ways of doing it. Somebody has to tell you to stop doing it, make two more steps and make a normal challenge. Don’t go five yards before the player because the grass is wet and take any risk. It’s not intentional, but these are the situations.
“The boy with the ball is a bit unlucky because what can happen is what happened to Joe Gomez.
“I think the referee has to make sure that things like this don’t happen constantly. It’s not how it should be. Let’s play football.”
Klopp and Burnley manager Sean Dyche appeared to have a disagreement at the final whistle, although both managers declined to comment on what happened.
However, while Klopp took issue with some of the tackles, Dyche felt the physicality his team displayed during the game was perfectly legal.
“I thought there were some excellent challenges tonight,” Dyche said. “When you think about real challenges, I thought some of the timing of the challenges were superb tonight.
“That’s part of that front-foot mentality. You’ve got to win the ball, you’ve got to challenge against these boys. You’ve got to, you know, put a marker on the game — not only with good tackles, but also with good play. I thought we were effective.”
The victory at Burnley means Klopp’s side have now made the best start to a top-flight season in Liverpool’s 126-year history.
“Reacting like we did at a tough place like Turf Moor, that’s special,” Klopp said. “Milly was outstanding anyway, really good performance especially physically, scored that one. Then finally after a few weeks’ break our set-pieces are back. Bobby with that one, first touch, scored.
“We wanted to change when we were 1-0 down and we changed at 1-1 because it was clear, we had to try and win the game. Third goal, brilliant.
“We controlled the game in a lot of moments, but in the moments where we allowed Burnley to make proper tackles, it didn’t look that cool.
“Second half, perfect reaction and really happy with three points.”