Ref who cost Klopp £75k fine appointed for Spurs game

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is bracing for a potentially contentious encounter as his team gears up to take on Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday.

The spotlight will be on Premier League referee Paul Tierney, whose history with Klopp adds an extra layer of intrigue to the upcoming match at Anfield - the German's penultimate at the stadium before his departure in the summer.

Tierney has been assigned as the referee for the match, with Scott Ledger and Mat Wilkes serving as his assistants, Tom Bramall as the fourth official and John Brooks handling VAR duties.

The decision to appoint Tierney comes despite past clashes between the referee and Klopp during Liverpool's previous encounters with Tottenham.

Bad blood

The tension between Klopp and Tierney dates back to a heated 2-2 draw against Tottenham in December 2021. Klopp's frustrations boiled over after Andy Robertson's red card and perceived leniency from the referee towards Harry Kane, leading to a touchline confrontation where Klopp was booked for his protests.

Speaking after the match, Klopp expressed his dissatisfaction, stating, "Mr Tierney told me he thinks Diogo stops on purpose because he wants the foul... It will always be helpful if people have played football themselves in the past."

The animosity escalated during Liverpool's dramatic 4-3 victory over Tottenham in May last year, culminating in Klopp's celebratory dash towards fourth official Brooks.

In a subsequent interview, Klopp questioned Tierney's impartiality, sparking a public dispute with the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

"We have our story, our history with Mr Tierney... I really don't know what this man has with us," Klopp remarked in the aftermath of the match.

As a result of his comments, Klopp was handed a two-match touchline ban and fined £75,000 by the Football Association (FA).

A strong finish to the season

Liverpool's recent form has been less than stellar, with just one win in their last five games denting their title aspirations. Following a disappointing 2-0 loss to Everton in the Merseyside derby and a hard-fought 2-2 draw against West Ham, Klopp's side finds themselves trailing league leaders Arsenal by five points and second-placed Manchester City by four.

Despite their setbacks, Liverpool will be eager to finish the season on a positive note, especially with Klopp set to depart at the end of the campaign.

However, the presence of Tierney in the middle could prove to be a contentious factor, with their past encounters adding an extra layer of intrigue to what promises to be a fiercely contested match at Anfield.

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