Jurgen Klopp and Niko Kovac have played down their final whistle clash as a mere misunderstanding after seemingly having a heated confrontation.
Both managers were forced to look on as Liverpool and Bayern Munich played out a goalless draw at Anfield for the first leg of their Champions League last -16 tie.
Liverpool had appeared to be the stronger of the two teams in the first leg, but were unable to break through a resilient defensive display by Bayern on Tuesday night.
After the draw, an annoyed-looking Klopp stormed off after only shaking Kovac’s finger in the dugout while the Bayern coach attempted to get a hold of his arm.
Speaking in a press conference afterwards, Klopp played down the incident and explained that his only problem towards Kovac was his decision to celebrate with his squad first before shaking his hand.
“No, no, no. I wanted to shake Niko’s hand immediately and then he went in the crowd of his players,” said Klopp, according to Sky Sports.
“I thought he shakes the whole of Bayern’s hands.
“Then when he came back I said ‘I am waiting’ and he apologised and I said no problem and he wants to apologise again. That’s how it was.”
Kovac also played down the incident with the Liverpool manager and insisted that congratulating his squad first is traditional in Germany.
“That was funny,” said Kovac.
“We were on English soil. In Germany, it is normal when games end you shake hands with your players.
“In England, first the coaches shake hands. So I did what I did in Germany, said sorry and made up for it. And in Germany, we will do it as we do it in Germany.”
The return leg between Liverpool and Bayern will take place on March 13 at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
Unbeaten in our last 20 European games at Anfield.
Onto Munich we go! ✊ pic.twitter.com/Gvw3WCpwRm
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 19, 2019