LONDON • Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has come under fire for his public dressing-down of Christian Benteke during Liverpool's collapse at Southampton on Sunday.
Goals from Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge gave the Reds a 2-0 half-time advantage, but a brace from substitute Sadio Mane and a Graziano Pelle strike ensured the points would stay at St Mary's.
Belgian striker Benteke missed an excellent chance to restore the two-goal cushion with the score at 2-1 during the Premier League football match, and was berated by Klopp on the sidelines.
Former players turned television pundits Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy criticised the German, suggesting that he should have had the conversation privately rather than in front of the fans.
"I understand that he's not his player, I don't think he fancies him," former England striker Shearer said. "He didn't sign him.
"I understand all of that but I wouldn't take too kindly if I was a player and he came onto the pitch in front of 32,000 and let his feelings be known.
"No problem if he wants to give him a telling-off, or whatever it is, but do it in the dressing room, in the four walls in front of the rest of the players, not in front of all the fans."
Former Reds midfielder Murphy concurred: "I couldn't agree more, if you're going to give someone a telling-off then do it inside.
"Sometimes he's great - Juergen Klopp, he's been a breath of fresh air, but sometimes he's overly animated on the touchline and it doesn't always go down well with everyone."
The manager played down his angry reaction.
"Sometimes you have to talk to players, that's my job," he told the BBC.
"They go off to the national teams after this. I don't want to make phone calls, so I had a few words, it's okay."
Despite the defeat, Klopp refused to write off Liverpool's hopes of forcing their way into the top four. They were unable to take advantage of Manchester City's home loss to Manchester United and move to within four points of City, who lie fourth having played a game more.
But Klopp insisted that, with nine games remaining, his side can still challenge, although he conceded that they cannot afford a repeat of their second-half performance at St Mary's.
REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN