‘There’s going to be a fire if I speak’ – Mohamed Salah after Jurgen Klopp row

Salah was dropped to the bench after Wednesday’s defeat at Everton.

Mo Salah was a substitute on Saturday as Liverpool drew at West Ham
Mo Salah was a substitute on Saturday as Liverpool drew at West Ham (Adam Davy/PA)

Mohamed Salah ruined the attempts of Jurgen Klopp to play down their touchline exchange at West Ham when the Liverpool forward claimed there would be “fire” if he stopped to speak following the 2-2 draw.

The Reds were eager to bounce back after a painful midweek loss in the Merseyside derby and Klopp dropped Salah to the bench in an attempt to jolt his weary team into form.

While they established a 2-1 lead midway through the second half at London Stadium, Michail Antonio effectively ended their faint Premier League title hopes when he headed home an equaliser for West Ham with 13 minutes left.

Salah had been waiting to come on before Antonio’s goal and was involved in an animated conversation with Klopp.

It ended with fellow substitute Darwin Nunez being forced to push team-mate Salah away before they entered the fray, but they could not find a late winner in the capital.

“We spoke about it in the dressing room and that is done for me,” Klopp insisted.

Asked if Salah was OK with it, Klopp claimed: “That was my impression.”

However, when Salah walked through the mixed zone at West Ham and was asked to stop, he admitted: “There’s gonna be a fire today if I speak.”

It was the latest evidence that Klopp’s exit could turn sour with very little to play for during the final month of the campaign.

Klopp had made five changes from Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at Everton, but a drab opening 45 followed in east London until Jarrod Bowen headed home a cross by Mohammed Kudus after Liverpool switched off from a short corner.

Whatever the German said at the break worked as the Reds emerged fired up and levelled within three minutes of the second half when good play by Luis Diaz teed up Robertson, who dug out a shot that Alphonse Areola could only push in via the post.

Mohamed Salah had to settle for a place on the bench
Mohamed Salah had to settle for a place on the bench (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The turnaround was complete after 65 minutes when Cody Gakpo’s scuffed effort deflected off Angelo Ogbonna and Tomas Soucek hit his clearance against the unfortunate Areola before the ball rolled into the back of the net.

Liverpool had chances to put the match to bed, but it proved a familiar tale as they conceded an equaliser when Antonio headed in from a Bowen cross to ensure the points were shared.

Third-placed Liverpool are two points off leaders Arsenal and have played a game more, while Manchester City have two matches in hand on Klopp’s side and a one-point advantage.

Klopp added: “I don’t think about it, really. So, I said before we need to win our games. We didn’t win the game and that doesn’t improve our situation now massively.

“They play and do they look like they will lose two or three games? No, I don’t think so but honestly I am not angry or whatever. I don’t think about it.

“It is just we have to win football games and let’s see what that means at the end. What do we have now 75 points? 84 is possible. That is a good target to try to do that.”

West Ham boss David Moyes was in a jovial mood when asked about his 14th battle with old sparring partner Klopp.

“I’ll be glad he’s gone,” Moyes joked.

“F****** too big, teeth are too bright and I hate to say it because I worked against him in the other clubs who are probably the biggest rivals (Everton and Manchester United) but he has been immense for Liverpool.

“I think he is the daddy there and he has been able to control a big football club, which is not easy to do. I am glad to see the back of him!”