Klopp: Simeone handshake snub 'not so cool'

By Sports Desk October 19, 2021

Jurgen Klopp said Diego Simeone's decision to not shake his hand following Liverpool's incredible 3-2 Champions League win over 10-man Atletico Madrid "was not so cool".

Simeone stormed down the tunnel at full-time in Tuesday's European classic at Wanda Metropolitano after a couple of big refereeing decisions went against Atletico.

Atleti had two-goal star Antoine Griezmann sent off for a contentious red card for a high boot with the game poised at 2-2 and saw a strong penalty shout overturned by VAR late on.

While not pleased with Simeone's snub, Liverpool manager Klopp could understand his opposite number's frustration on an evening of high drama in the Spanish capital.

"We don't like that but yes the situation is clear," Klopp told BT Sport. "I want to shake his hand. His reaction for sure, like mine, was not so cool. 

"The next time we see each other we will shake hands definitely. It's nothing. He was obviously angry, not with me but with the game. There is nothing else."

Griezmann netted his sixth Champions League double in Atleti colours to cancel out early strikes from Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita before being issued a straight red card.

He had his eyes on the ball and caught Roberto Firmino in the face with his boot, becoming the first player to score twice and be sent off in the same Champions League game.

Salah went on to score a second for the Reds from the penalty spot to put them in front, but more drama followed late on when Diogo Jota shoved Jose Gimenez in the box.

Daniel Siebert pointed to the spot, only to overturn the decision before substitute Luis Suarez could step up after the referee was asked by VAR to check the pitchside monitor.

Atleti's players reacted angrily, but Klopp believes the officials got each of the big calls correct.

"I saw it and our penalty is a penalty. I think the other one [for Atletico] is not a penalty but I didn't expect it [to be overturned]," Klopp said. 

"I think it's the right decision. The red card was for sure unlucky but it is a red card. A foot in the face. It can happen."

Liverpool's victory at the scene of their 2019 Champions League final triumph against Tottenham brought an end to a four-game winless run against Atleti in the competition.

The Reds, who had lost their previous five games against Spanish opposition in UEFA's flagship club tournament, are five points clear at the top of Group B at the midway point.

In a game that had a bit of everything, including another record for Salah as he scored for a ninth Liverpool match running, Klopp was just happy to escape with all three points.

"It was a tough game. Honestly, how we win it, I couldn't care less! On a night like this, getting three points is really nice," he said.

"We did surprisingly well at the beginning. Did we expect it to be that defensive? Probably not. It was not so easy. 

"We scored two wonderful goals then played good football. It was 2-0 then obviously Atletico are not too bothered about having possession. 

"The first goal we gave away then the second, it was nice play but the gaps we had there...That was not alright. 

"At half-time I think everyone in the stadium thought it was only going one way and we thought 'let's give it a proper try again'.

"We played a really solid second half in a tough game with intense football from both teams. We got the penalty, then there was a red card and obviously it was in our favour."

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