Roberto De Zerbi explains fiery exchange with official after Jurgen Klopp tried to 'calm him down' - and admits why Lewis Dunk's goal shouldn't have happened
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De Zerbi reacted furiously on the touchline when no penalty was given for his team after Virgil van Dijk appeared to handle the ball in the box from Kaoru Mitoma’s wayward shot.
Albion were losing 2-1 at the time but eventually earned a point through Lewis Dunk’s 78th minute goal.
The Brighton manager was booked for remonstrating with the fourth official, with Klopp intervening on the touchline to try to placate the Italian.
Klopp told reporters post-match that he ‘used my age and tried to calm him down’.
In response, De Zerbi said: “I love Klopp. He can do what he wants.
"I have a big respect. I consider him once of the best coaches in the world.
"I like his behaviour. When he says something, 99 per cent [of the time] I agree with him.
"In that situation, I think there was a clear penalty. I told the referee, I think, in a good way what I thought in the moment.
“I think there was a penalty but there wasn't a foul [by Trent Alexander-Arnold for the free-kick] when we scored the second goal. I am honest. I told Jurgen my opinion.”
De Zerbi was also asked if he felt fortunate that Pascal Gross was not sent off for his foul on Dominik Szoboszlai, which saw Liverpool given a penalty at the end of the first-half.
The Italian replied: “I don't know. If you analyse this, you have to analyse Aston Villa's goals, the goal at Palace last season, and the clear penalty against Leicester.
"We can speak until tomorrow night. We are not able to find an agreement.
"I think there was a penalty. For me, it's finished there [penalty for Liverpool and no red card].”
Klopp said he ‘had no clue’ what De Zerbi and the fourth official were talking about.
He added: “I just saw them. If I am in a moment like this, there’s a moment of no going back that appears and I think he was close to that. I tried to calm him down.
“I’m not sure if he needed it or not. He told me something about a penalty but I had no clue what he was talking about. I think he wanted a penalty.”
On the Gross incident, Klopp said: “I didn't even realise at the time but I heard now it's about goal scoring opportunity. I didn't see it back. I'm over it. We will not change it.”