Frank Lampard continued the spat that saw him tell a member of Jurgen Klopp’s staff to “f*ck off” during Chelsea’s loss at Liverpool, the Reds boss has said – and Klopp has claimed that he unfairly accused his team of “arrogance”.
Lampard’s clean-cut image was damaged when the Chelsea coach was caught swearing at Pepijn Lijnders, Liverpool’s assistant manager, during his side’s eventful 5-3 defeat at Anfield on Wednesday, when he told Klopp to “have your party later on and f*cking give it the big one” ahead of the champions’ Premier League title ceremony.
The angry row, in which Klopp told Lampard to “sit down” as he protested a contentious foul given against Mateo Kovacic that sent Liverpool striker Sadio Mane tumbling, was caught on camera from at least two angles to send social media into hysterics.
Klopp has said that Lampard failed to manage his emotions and directed misguided accusations at the runaway league winners.
“You cannot hit me or my bench with something like that because we are not arrogant,” the Liverpool manager said ahead of his side’s final match of the season at Newcastle on Sunday.
“Frank was in a really competitive mood and I respect that a lot. You can pretty much, from my point of view, say what you want in a situation like that.
“But what he has to learn is to finish it with the final whistle and he didn’t do that. Speaking after it like this is not OK. Frank has to learn.
“During a game, words are used – no problem at all. But at the final whistle, all the things he said … we are not arrogant. We are pretty much the opposite of arrogant in a moment like this.
“If you have arguments, you say something and you want to hurt the other person. That is how it is. No problem. The final whistle? Close the book, finish the book. That is what I don’t like.”
Lampard seemed to have swept the altercation aside in his post-match interview at Anfield, but Klopp’s comments suggest the bad feeling will linger over a war of words that could resume next season, when both managers will expect to be competing for the title.
“In terms of regretting having passion to defend my team, no [regrets],” Lampard said. “I could have maybe handled it slightly differently to keep that language [reined]in.
“I would have had a beer with Jurgen Klopp and toasted what they’ve done this year. But there were things on the line I didn’t like from their bench.
“Not Jurgen Klopp – people behind the bench who I felt crossed the line and that’s what got me agitated.
“With the season they’ve had, they can celebrate like they did after the game, like they can celebrate every goal they score. Like they celebrated when they won the league a month ago and like they’re talking about celebrating one more time with their fans.”
Chelsea need a point at home to Wolves on Sunday to ensure that both managers will also be taking part in the Champions League next season.
“These things get replayed a lot on social media and I’m aware of that,” conceded Lampard. “I’ve got two young daughters on social media.
“But it’s done. Emotions run high among most managers, players and fans in this game. I regret the language and move on.”
Lampard will face no disciplinary measures from the Blues, according to The Times.
His side lost 5-4 on penalties in the Super Cup in August after a 2-2 draw in which Mane scored twice, gaining revenge by knocking Liverpool out of the FA Cup after losing 2-1 to the champions in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.
Klopp added: “We saw again on Wednesday night that the distance between us and Chelsea is really not 30-odd points.
“That night it was two goals and a tricky moment when [Chelsea midfielder Christian] Pulisic missed the target and stuff like this. So that’s how football is.”
Liverpool’s league title was confirmed thanks to Chelsea after nearest rivals Manchester City lost 2-1 at Stamford Bridge last month to ensure that they could not catch them at the top of the table last.
“Fair play to them – they deserved to win it,” Lampard declared at the time.
“It’s a gap that we want to try to bridge and move up towards. We just have to look at ourselves and work.”