Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has urged the Premier League to do more to protect its players after he was left seething following Liverpool's 2-0 win over Burnley at Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool's Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk were on the receiving end of some poorly-timed tackles from Burnley's Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood, while the hosts' defender Trent Alexander-Arnold was also lucky to escape any punishment after Dwight McNeil went down inside the area.
Speaking after the game, the German manager was particularly displeased with what he perceived as 'dangerous' tackles from the Burnley duo, which he felt ruined the game as a spectacle, comparing it to something out of WWE.
"If you like that sort of thing, watch wrestling," Klopp told BT Sport.
"We always had to be ready for a proper fight and we were today.
"You saw these challenges with Barnes and Wood and Virgil and Joel. I'm not 100% if officials are going in the right direction with these decisions.
"It's like we're going 10 to 15 years backwards. The rules are like they are, but you cannot defend these situations.
"The message now is let the game flow, but nobody exactly knows what that means. This is the football we want to see but it's just too dangerous.
"I like decisions that favour the offensive team, that’s fine. But we have to stick to protecting the players. We cannot deny that. If you like that sort of thing, watch wrestling."
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In his post-match interview, Klopp also criticised Premier League referees for being too far lenient.
Officials have instructed to let the game flow wherever possible, but Klopp feels this has backfired massively.
"I am not the Pope of football or whatever or any kind of priest who wants to tell the people what to do, really not," he added.
"You might remember it when we started to talk about the elbow in the challenge, all of a sudden all challenges in the air, we heard the whistle.
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"It happened then that players started feeling something in the face even when nothing touched them because it helped always to do this… now there is a message, like a headline, ‘let the game flow’.
"It started with the penalties, ‘no soft penalties anymore’, which is absolutely fine, but we cannot forget that we have to protect the players as well and the challenges in the air.
"We are early in the season and I don’t want to open already the box of Pandora, I just think we have to speak about these kinds of things because the intensity of the season didn’t even start.
"In a lot of moments, we played a brilliant game without scoring. In all the other moments we had to fight incredibly hard. We won it and nobody got injured."
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