‘There’s going to be fire if I speak’: Salah adds fuel to touchline row with Klopp

<span>Mohamed Salah reacted badly when Jürgen Klopp tried to talk to him on the touchline at West Ham.</span><span>Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images</span>
Mohamed Salah reacted badly when Jürgen Klopp tried to talk to him on the touchline at West Ham.Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah ruined Jürgen Klopp’s attempt to play down his touchline row with the winger by saying there would be “fire” if he stopped to speak after Liverpool’s faltering title challenge suffered another blow in their 2-2 draw at West Ham.

Salah, who was dropped after Liverpool’s midweek defeat at Everton, cut a disgruntled figure while he was waiting to come off the bench at the London Stadium. The winger reacted badly after Klopp, whose side were chasing a late winner after squandering a 2-1 lead, tried to speak to him. The incident ended with Darwin Núñez, another substitute, having to pull Salah away from Liverpool’s manager.

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Klopp, who is set to be replaced by Feyenoord’s Arne Slot at the end of the season, did not want to dwell on the incident. “We spoke about it in the dressing room and that is done for me,” he said. Asked if Salah was also ready to move on, Klopp added: “That was my impression.”

But Salah did not appear to be happy when he walked past reporters on his way out of the ground. He declined interview requests and said: “There’s gonna be a fire today if I speak.”

It was another disappointing day for Liverpool, whose hopes of catching Arsenal and Manchester City look slim after a run of one win in five games. They are two points behind Arsenal, who have a game in hand, and one below City, who have played two games fewer than Liverpool. Klopp refused to give up the fight but he did not sound optimistic.

“Do they [Arsenal and City] look like they lose two or three games?” Klopp said. “I don’t think so. I am not angry. Write what you want about that. I don’t think about it. It’s just we have to win football games and let’s see what that means in the end.

“We have 75 points, 84 possible, and I think it’s a good target to try to do that. That will be my attitude and my mindset and we will see what that means. It’s a while ago that somebody became champion with 84 points. I am sorry but I don’t have better news.”