April 1 (Reuters) - Ronald Koeman has complained about “crazy” behaviour from Liverpool’s bench during his side’s 3-1 loss in a feisty Merseyside derby on Saturday, with the Everton coach accusing his counterparts of attempting to influence the referee.
Premier League games between Liverpool and Everton have produced 21 red cards, more than any other fixture, and while no one was sent off in the 228th meeting, it was a hot-blooded clash punctuated by gutsy tackling and flashpoints.
Koeman was particularly unhappy with the behaviour of the Liverpool bench following a high tackle by Ross Barkley on Dejan Lovren in the 39th minute, where the England midfielder was fortunate to escape with a yellow card.
”Tackles are part of football,“ Koeman told Sky Sports. ”It’s all about football, but we don’t make a show from the bench like Liverpool.
”It’s football - a hard and fair game,“ he added. ”I don’t like coaches from the bench the whole time shouting to referees and linesmen, making a big show about tackles.
“They were crazy, they didn’t need the physio on the pitch,” Koeman added. “It’s a man’s sport.”
Three Everton players were booked as goals from Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi sealed all three points for Liverpool, while the home side only received one yellow card, when Emre Can fouled Idrissa Gueye.
“I‘m still a kind of a guest in this country, how can I decide what is OK and what is not OK?” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said when asked about whether Barkley’s tackle on Lovren deserved a red card.
“My opinion is that the players should leave the pitch healthy and fit but not injured,” he added. “It’s not my job to judge it. If you saw something - say it. If not, be quiet.”
Liverpool lost Mane to injury in the 57th minute after the goalscorer limped off following a collision with Leighton Baines.
“I don’t like creating stories,” Klopp said while refusing to comment on Koeman’s accusations. “Our responsibility is to cool things down.”
The win helped Liverpool consolidate their grip on the Champions League places as they moved provisionally up to third on 59 points. Everton remained in seventh on 50. (Reporting by Ed Dove, editing by Ed Osmond)