Mohamed Salah in extraordinary touchline row with Jurgen Klopp: ‘If I speak there will be fire’

Mohamed Salah and Jurgen Klopp get heated on the touchline
Mohamed Salah and Jurgen Klopp get heated on the touchline - Getty Images/Justin Setterfield

Mohamed Salah warned there would be “fire” if he discussed in depth his extraordinary touchline row with Jurgen Klopp that broke out when the great Liverpool goalscorer prepared to come on at West Ham in his side’s 2-2 draw at the London Stadium.

Klopp’s side dropped another two points in their ailing title challenge, to leave the club third on 75 points behind Arsenal and Manchester City who have played one and two games fewer respectively. But the most notable moment of the afternoon was a heated exchange between Salah and Klopp when the former prepared to come on – one that became prolonged enough that fellow substitutes Darwin Nunez and Joe Gomez intervened.

As he left the stadium later, Salah was approached for comment. He said: “There’s going to be fire today if I speak”. It was not delivered entirely seriously and it was not clear whether he might be suggesting he could fan the flames of the controversy. Yet it certainly left a question mark over Klopp’s assertion that the matter had been resolved.

“We spoke about it in the dressing room and it is done for me,” Klopp said in his post-match press conference. “That’s it.” Asked whether the same was the case for Salah, Klopp said: “That’s my impression.”

Klopp has three games left as Liverpool manager and for this one dropped Salah, Nunez, Dominik Szoboszlai, Ibrahima Konate and Curtis Jones from the side that lost to Everton on Wednesday. He said that the intense schedule of four games in 10 days had left him with no option but to make changes. Michail Antonio scored the equaliser for West Ham just as Salah was about to come on.

“You can find a manager who can play the same team four times?” Klopp said. “That will be the next generation, not me anymore. I try to do what I think is right and I thought the boys who came on did really well. I don’t even know who started the last game. Cody [Gakpo] didn’t start the last game. Harvey [Elliot] played really well. Jarell [Quansah] did really well. That’s how it is as a central defender from time to time you are kind of around when goals get scored. That is how it is. He had a really good game. I try to do the right thing.”

Should City win their two games in hand they will be seven points ahead of Liverpool. Klopp said that his team would try to push for three wins from their remaining games. Gakpo and Andy Robertson scored in the second half after Jarrod Bowen’s opener.

“Do they [City] look like they lose two or three games?” Klopp asked. “I don’t think so. I am not angry. Write what you want about that. I don’t think about it. It’s just we have to win football games and let’s see what that means in the end. We have 75 points. [A total of] 84 [is] possible and I think it’s a good target.

“That will be my attitude and my mindset and we will see what that means. It’s a while ago that somebody became champion with 84 points. Yes. I am sorry but I don’t have better news for you or anybody else.”