Xherdan Shaqiri has played down talks of a confrontation between himself and Jurgen Klopp, following Liverpool’s Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Chelsea on Wednesday.
The Reds had made the perfect start to the season with seven wins from seven but fell at the first hurdle in the Carabao Cup. Klopp’s side are in the middle of a tough run of fixtures, with a Premier League clash with Chelsea on Saturday.
Having led the game 1-0 until the 79th minute, Maurizio Sarri’s side put on a late show to snatch a 2-1 victory. Klopp cut a frustrated figure on the touchline with his 100% record in tatters and appeared to direct some of that rage towards summer signing Shaqiri.
The Switzerland international was making just his second start of the season after impressing in his first against Southampton. Shaqiri had a hand in both of Liverpool’s first two goals against the Saints but struggled to make an impact against Chelsea.
The 26-year-old also squandered a seemingly gilt-edged opportunity to increase Liverpool’s lead but has insisted that had nothing to do with his post-match conversation with his manager.
“[Klopp] was not intense or shouting something. It was just a tactical thing, like something off the free kick we should do better. In the end, Jordan took the free kick and it was maybe not the best solution we did there,” he told the Evening Standard.
Klopp has also played down talks of a rift when quizzed in his post-match press conference. Asked if he was fuming over Shaqiri’s missed opportunity Klopp commented: “Oh no. No, I spoke about a free kick, the last one. We wanted to have Mo a bit wider, so pass the ball to Mo. The whole bunch of players was in one direction where we shot the ball then actually.
“If he [Shaqiri] can send Mo in a one-on-one situation in the last situation of the game it would have been not too bad.
“But the boys, maybe it was too loud in the stadium they didn’t hear me anymore. It doesn’t make too much sense. What I said there was only about the free-kick nothing else.”