Football: Klopp explains Pulis handshake snub after dramatic 2-2 draw

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp (left) celebrates after Divock Origi scores their second goal as West Brom manager Tony Pulis looks on.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp (left) celebrates after Divock Origi scores their second goal as West Brom manager Tony Pulis looks on. PHOTO: REUTERS

London (The Guardian) - Juergen Klopp said he refused to shake hands with Tony Pulis following Liverpool's dramatic 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion because "it was not a friendly game" but not as a protest against Craig Gardner's tackle on Dejan Lovren.

Lovren left Anfield on crutches after suffering a potentially serious injury when the Albion midfielder connected with his knee after winning a 50-50 challenge. The Croatian's injury sparked a touchline feud between Klopp and Pulis that erupted when the defender's replacement, Divock Origi, salvaged a point for Liverpool with a deflected 95th-minute equaliser.

Klopp celebrated wildly in front of the Albion bench and waved away offers of a handshake after the final whistle - although was eventually pulled into one by assistant head coach Mark O'Connor - before leading delirious celebrations in front of the Kop with his players.

Asked why he snubbed Pulis, the Liverpool manager said: "I don't have the biggest talent to remember things like this. I only talk about football. I wanted to go to my team. Do with this (story) what you want. We had some words in the game and sometimes it takes more than a few seconds to cool down. Usually I shake hands. It was not a friendly game."

Lovren will have a scan to determine the extent of his knee problem but Klopp absolved Gardner of deliberately injuring his defender.

"He played the ball, a milli-second before he hit Dejan," he said. "It was like this the whole game, on the edge of everything. But he played the ball. If he didn't play the ball, we don't have to talk about this. We hope the injury is not too serious. We have to wait for the scan. I spoke to him and he said it felt not too bad."

Pulis claimed the Liverpool pair of James Milner and Martin Skrtel had committed the worst challenges in the game and he had no problem with Klopp celebrating Origi's goal in front of him.

The Albion head coach said: "He has got to do what he has got to do. It's his dugout. The big clubs, who have everything, who have got everything, this is a league where the smaller clubs compete."