JURGEN KLOPP faces the biggest test of his Liverpool reign this week and it has nothing to do with Wednesday’s trip to Stoke.
Boss Klopp must work out how to deal with a public strop by one of his biggest stars which embarrassed him more than Chelsea’s fluke goal which robbed him of victory.
Now Klopp needs to decide what to do with the act of petulance and insubordination live on TV.
Costa got lippy last summer and did not play for the club again. Luiz questioned Conte’s methods in a meeting and is now restricted to playing against Azerbaijani nobodies in Champions League group games.
It takes a strong man to take on the modern-day superstar with all his mood swings, hangers on and direct lines to powers-that-be at the huge global corporation of a Premier League club.
Klopp tried to play down the incident with Mane. He claims there was a tactical crossing of wires and the issue is now dealt with.
Not in Sane’s mind it’s not.
Every ex-pro turned pundit queued up to tell the millions of armchair TV fans that top players want to play in the top games — and they don’t come bigger than champions Chelsea at the moment.
Will Klopp let the matter quietly drop? Will he do something different in private to what he told reporters after the game? Will Mane get a dressing down?
Klopp tried everything in the book to brush off dropping two points when Chelsea, having flown 5,000 miles in midweek, were there for the taking.
Digging out the ref is the oldest excuse there is.
Claiming that had he been able to bring on sub Adam Lallana before Willian’s 85th-minute equaliser then Liverpool would be toasting victory.
Lallana had not played a single minute of this season prior to Saturday’s cameo. Who really thinks the talented but clearly rusty midfielder was the man to save the game?
If he was then Klopp is even more exposed for relying on a player who has cobwebs on his boots to see off the English champions.