Soccer

Cup final officials must be ‘fair’ amid Jurgen Klopp hype – Mauricio Pochettino

The Chelsea manager was unhappy with refereeing decisions in the recent league meeting after Klopp announced his summer departure from Liverpool.

Mauricio Pochettino is concerned about the hype around Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool departure
Mauricio Pochettino Mauricio Pochettino is concerned about the hype around Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool departure (John Walton/PA)

Mauricio Pochettino has urged the match officials not to be swayed by the focus on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool farewell in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

Klopp will leave Anfield in the summer after almost nine years in charge and Sunday marks this season’s first chance to add to his seven trophies with the club.

Pochettino insisted his side “want to win because of Chelsea,” rather than being motivated by a desire to spoil Klopp’s farewell.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, right, protests to fourth official Andy madley during the Premier League defeat to Liverpool at Anfield
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, right, protests to fourth official Andy madley during the Premier League defeat to Liverpool at Anfield Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, right, protests to fourth official Andy madley during the Premier League defeat to Liverpool at Anfield (Peter Byrne/PA)

But he admitted he was unhappy with refereeing decisions in the recent league meeting between the teams, feeling his side should have had penalties for Virgil van Dijk’s challenges on Conor Gallagher in the first half and Christopher Nkunku in the second.

In quotes reported by several national newspapers regarding pressure on the outgoing Reds boss, the Argentinian added: “It is not pressure for him. Maybe it is for the people who want to celebrate with Liverpool.

“We need to be sure we are going to compete and be fair in every decision. At Anfield, I think too many decisions… not one key decision was for us.

“Two penalties were not given. Duels, 50-50s, always for another colour. Always red. I want to be treated in a fair way.

Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, second left, goes down under a challenge from Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, left, in January’s Premier League clash
Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, second left, goes down under a challenge from Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, left, in January's Premier League clash Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, second left, goes down under a challenge from Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, left, in January’s Premier League clash (Peter Byrne/PA)

“The first decision after five minutes was a clear penalty. In the second half it was a penalty. The pressure is about not delivering the job for Klopp, the pressure is not to be part of the (hype).

“Of course, we are going to celebrate (Klopp’s reign). I am the first who is going to say that Liverpool is amazing and Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world.

“But I think after my last experience, what I want in Wembley is to not feel the pressure. It is to play a game at the same level and the best team will win. But not to feel the pressure of people around.”