Pulis retaliates against Klopp by making a sarcastic apology

LONDON • Tony Pulis has hit back at Juergen Klopp following their confrontation at Anfield last Sunday, saying he apologised for playing at least three longer balls than Liverpool during the game.

Klopp had refused to shake the West Brom manager's hand having been upset by Pulis' tactics in the 2-2 draw at Anfield, saying: "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."

The German was also upset by a Craig Gardner tackle on Dejan Lovren, sparking 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.

Pulis was unrepentant ahead of today's meeting with Bournemouth and said: "I think it was disappointing but he's got his opinions and he can say what he wants. We apologise we actually played three longer passes in 99 minutes than Liverpool did in that game."

Klopp led his players towards the Kop in celebration as if they had won, leaving Pulis unimpressed by the Liverpool manager's behaviour.

"If I had a team that was worth £200 million (S$421 million) playing against a team that was worth less than £20 million and we never won that game, I'd be doing my best to divert it away from the fact that I had 10 times more value on the pitch than my opposition number had and couldn't win the game," Pulis said.

"I'm just stating the facts. I don't want to say anything else. They were the facts. We've got a big game on Saturday, a game that we think will be more difficult than the Liverpool game."

Meanwhile, Liverpool are closing in on their first signing under Klopp after club officials travelled to Serbia on Thursday to try to conclude a deal for Marko Grujic, the Red Star Belgrade midfielder.

He had been expected to join Inter Milan but the intervention of Klopp is understood to have swayed the £5 million deal in Liverpool's favour.

If the transfer is completed, Grujic will spend the rest of this season on loan at Red Star before moving to Anfield next summer.

THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2015, with the headline 'Pulis retaliates against Klopp by making a sarcastic apology'. Print Edition | Subscribe