Liverpool ’s tough-guy defender wouldn’t condemn England star Barkley after an x-rated game, despite being left with a vicious wound following a late, high, stamping challenge from the Blues midfielder.
It was a no-holds-barred encounter , with Everton’s Ashley Williams also coming under scrutiny after stepping on Emre Can, and two challenges from Barkley that invoked the usual partisan howls of disgust.
Even the visitors’ manager Ronald Koeman admitted his star could have been dismissed – though he did counter with an attack of his own on Reds assistant coach Peter Krawietz, who he confronted in the tunnel afterwards, and accused of making a “crazy” show of trying to get his players sent off.
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Ronald Koeman speaks after 3-1 defeat at Liverpool
Lovren was left limping after Barkley’s challenge, and afterwards, he said: “If I show you my leg, you will be ‘Eeeewww!’ (pulls a face).
“I won’t, because it will be the headlines tomorrow if I show you my leg.
“It was a tough challenge, but we have seen it many times before and if I talk it will be all over the newspapers.”
Lovren insisted he accepts the derby will inspire passions, and inevitably some bad challenges, but did express concern that Barkley wasn’t moved to say sorry after a tackle that made the whole of Anfield wince.
Asked if the 24-year-old apologised, he replied: “No, that is the only thing I do not like. If you make a hard challenge then be open about it and say sorry, or something like that.
“Don’t talk to the referee and say it was not a foul. I think everyone saw it, especially me, but now it is over.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp also refused to condemn Barkley, but he and his coaching team were incensed on the touchline — and their behaviour didn’t sit well with an Everton manager who was still hurting over his side’s capitulation.
Koeman revealed he was angry that Krawietz, Klopp’s second assistant, in particular was over the top, saying: “Please behave.
“I don’t like coaches shouting to referees and linesmen the whole time, making a big show about tackles. They were crazy.”
The Blues’ boss actually went after Krawietz after the final whistle as the pair approached the tunnel and the two became embroiled in a shouting match.
Koeman confirmed: “Yes, I did have words with him, but what I said is between us.”