Vincent Kompany has defended his controversial tackle on Mohamed Salah during the first half of Manchester City’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool by describing it as a “great challenge”, despite Jurgen Klopp insisting after the match that the foul deserved a red card.
Kompany was booked by referee Anthony Taylor for the challenge during Thursday’s Premier League clash at the Etihad after connecting with Mohamed Salah shin-high as the Egypt international tried to jump out of the way.
Liverpool boss Klopp felt referee Taylor had made the wrong call by issuing only a caution, but City’s captain insisted his intent was purely to win the ball.
“I thought it was a great challenge. Was it not? All right,” Kompany told Sky Sports.
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“On the pitch I felt I got the ball, a bit of the man, but it wasn’t naughty. I didn’t try to injure him, that’s for sure.
“It was that or let him go through on goal and the decision was made very quickly in my head.”
Kompany’s delight with the result – even if he was forced off with injury late on – ensured that he was able to look past the furore surrounding the tackle and soak up the performance, which leaves City four points off Premier League leaders Liverpool and elevates them back above Tottenham into second place.
But Klopp was not willing to let the challenge go, and questioned whether referees needed to see blood or an open wound before issuing a red card.
“I like him (Kompany), he is such a fantastic player but situations like this happen: a player makes a decision, goes on the ground and makes a sliding tackle and takes the risk,” said Klopp, who first spoke about ‘needing blood’ after the treatment Salah received in Saturday’s win over Arsenal.
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“If Mo is on his feet – not in the moment when he jumps over him – we talk differently (about the outcome).
“That’s why I said last time (after the Arsenal match) ‘Do we need blood? Do we need an open something (wound)’.
“If Mo can go through (on goal) what happens then? I don’t blame anyone but in a situation like that make a decision.”