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Liverpool’s Klopp says Nunez’s heated moment with Guardiola was just ‘emotions’

MANCHESTER — Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp made light of a heated exchange between forward Darwin Nunez and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after Saturday’s 1-1 draw, saying emotions got the better of them.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s late goal gave Liverpool a 1-1 draw to keep them within a point of City at the top of the Premier League, and shortly after the final whistle Nunez approached Guardiola in what appeared to be a heated confrontation.

“It’s emotions. I am not sure I’m the one who should explain it to be honest, because I was absolutely not involved. Surprisingly,” said Klopp, who pulled Nunez away with a giant bear hug.

“I love them both and so I tried to calm the situation down without knowing 100 per cent what happened because I didn’t understand a word.”

Klopp shrugged off suggestions that a “fierce rivalry” between the two teams provoked the incident, saying: “I don’t think Darwin Nunez knows anything about that.

“It’s emotional. Pep wants to win, we want to win. Both didn’t win so obviously nobody really happy and then these things happen,” the German manager said.

Guardiola said little about that exchange except “nothing happened”.

City’s prolific striker Erling Haaland shattered another record when he netted in the 27th minute, becoming the fastest player to reach 50 goals in the Premier League, reaching the mark in 48 games. The draw also ended City’s remarkable streak of 23 successive wins at the Etihad Stadium.

But neither side were satisfied with the point in what is shaping up to be a tight title race, and Klopp was particularly frustrated with the short break between the recent international games and Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash that kicked off the weekend’s league matches.

“Today coming here is a tough one,” Klopp said. “I know it’s part of the circus and all these kind of things, but preparing the most difficult game of the season away at the Etihad with just one session is really a challenge.

“Maybe I’m just not good enough. That’s absolutely possible. But it’s really tricky to do that in 30 minutes on the pitch and 45 (minutes) in a meeting.”

Liverpool’s keeper Allison Becker received treatment late in the game for an apparent muscle injury and Klopp was asked if the keeper’s two games with Brazil during the international break may have contributed to the injury.

“Am I allowed to mention that? I don’t know. I have no clue where it’s coming from,” Klopp said. “I hope it’s not that serious, but I have absolutely no clue at the moment what it is. I spoke to him and he said he only felt it a little bit, but you have to wait for the scan.” — Reuters

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