Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted there is ‘no problem’ between himself and Sadio Mane, who refused post-match handshake with the Reds boss following the team’s 4-2 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
Mane, who has struggled to find form all season, was left out of the starting line-up for the game that could yet play a huge part in whether Liverpool achieve a top four finish, and was visibly frustrated afterwards.
Footage immediately after the final whistle showed Klopp fist bumping United pair Dean Henderson and Scott McTominay, but as he approached Mane walking just ahead, the Liverpool star left his manager hanging. Klopp’s face appeared surprised, but he was upbeat when pressed about it.
Klopp admitted his decision to bench Mane, who had scored in the 2-0 win over Southampton a few days earlier, was the reason for the player’s behaviour.
“No, no problem. I made a late decision in training to decide for Diogo [Jota]. The boys are used to me explaining things usually but there was actually no time for that and that's all. It's all fine,” Klopp explained to Sky Sports.
The result moves Liverpool just four points off the top four with a game in hand. If they win that outstanding game against West Brom this weekend, it would take them just a point behind Chelsea, putting Klopp’s team in a position to take advantage of any slip ups by those above them.
“Great fight, good game, intense, as all derbies should be,” Klopp said of the victory.
“Our first win at Old Trafford since I'm at Liverpool and good timing, I would say. We needed it, obviously. We fought hard for it and we deserved it.”