Antonio Conte reminds Liverpool ‘we cost you the title’ as Tottenham boss comments on Jurgen Klopp criticism

Antonio Conte reminds Liverpool ‘we cost you the title’ as Tottenham boss comments on Jurgen Klopp criticism

Antonio Conte believes Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of Tottenham’s style of play following last season’s draw at Anfield was born out of anger, reminding the Liverpool boss: “We cost you the title”.

The two sides meet in the Premier League on Sunday for the first time since a 1-1 draw in May that proved pivotal in the title run-in.

The draw was the only time Liverpool dropped points to anyone other than Manchester City in their final 18 games of the season, with Pep Guardiola’s side going on to clinch the title by a single point.

In the aftermath, Klopp was critical of Conte’s counter-attacking style, claiming he “could not coach” such tactics and urging Spurs, who had just 35 per cent possession, to “do more for the game”, though the Reds boss later claimed his remarks were a backhanded compliment.

“If you remember he lost the Premier League for this result,” Conte said on Friday. “I understood his frustration. They lost the Premier League because of that result. They lost the Premier League for these two points.

“But you know, instead we reached the Champions League with that draw. It’s okay, every coach has to speak for his team. For every coach it’s important to understand the best strategy to reach a good result.

“Honestly, I have seen again the last game we played against Liverpool and if there was a team that deserved to win it was Tottenham not Liverpool. But I understand after the game when you felt you lost the Premier League to say something wrong against another team, but he has said sorry because he understood.

“No problem for me. When you are angry it’s very difficult sometimes to control your emotion.”

Conte meanwhile hailed Klopp and Liverpool for taking the fight to City in recent seasons, suggesting that without them Guardiola’s men would have enjoyed dominance over the Premier League similar to that of Conte’s former side Juventus over Serie A.

Klopp suggested earlier this season that competing with City’s limitless financial resources had become impossible but Conte believes the Reds’ shrewd recruitment has allowed them to do just that.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

“I think that Liverpool have to be proud because in the last five years they were the big, big rivals for Manchester City,” the Italian added. "Otherwise, without Liverpool I think maybe Manchester City could do in the same way like Juventus was in Italy.

“So for this reason they have to be proud to reach this level and I think they improved a lot in these years during the transfer market with the big, big signings. And this is a positive thing I’m saying to Liverpool because you can have money to spend, but if you waste your money, you don’t sign good players and you can have whatever money you want, but you have to spend it in the best possible way.

“I think that Liverpool did this in this period, otherwise I think it was really, really difficult to become the first rival for Manchester City.”