London (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hit out at the idiots who attacked Manchester City’s team bus, saying it would be difficult for Reds supporters to welcome their own team to Anfield in future.
City’s bus was struck by hurled bottles and cans on its way into Anfield ahead of their shock 3-0 defeat by Liverpool in a Champions League quarter-final first leg tie on Wednesday.
Windows were broken and City had to hire a replacement bus for their return journey, so extensive was the damage to the original.
Fans have long greeted team buses on their way into Anfield before major fixtures, and two years ago the Europa League quarter-final and semi-final matches against Villarreal and Borussia Dortmund saw thousands of fans line the streets amid a flurry of red smoke flares.
Both matches, however, passed off without major incident.
But fans may now be barred from lining the route for future games, with Klopp reiterating Friday his disgust at what had happened to City on their way into Anfield.
“I have to say, again, apologies for what happened before the game,” said Klopp.
“It is so strange because you go with your own bus through the crowd and it feels fantastic, it is passion.
“Then you come into the stadium and the first thing I heard is they smashed the bus of Man City and it kills everything in that moment for us.”
The German added: “You cannot be happy about that, you don’t feel ‘it’ any more.
“Because of a few idiots it will maybe never happen again. It changed everything.
“The atmosphere during the game was one of the best I have experienced but these things around it changed my view.
“It is not OK. It is not how it should have been.”
Given their arrival at the ground and the result of the match, City could have been forgiven for wanting to make as quick a getaway from Anfield as possible.
But instead they stopped to assist a woman who was involved in a collision with a car yards from the Arkles pub on Anfield Road, where before the match their bus had been hit with bottles and flares.
“The medical staff of Man City did what they did but it is an outstanding thing to do and leaves us even more in a situation where we think ‘Oof, it was all strange’,” Klopp added.
Meanwhile Liverpool are set to give Mohamed Salah as much time as possible to prove his fitness for Saturday’s Merseyside derby against Everton.
The Egypt forward, the Premier League’s leading scorer so far this season with 29 goals, came off during the European success against English champions-elect Manchester City with a groin problem.
“I don’t want to give anything away and I want to wait,” said Klopp. “It makes no sense to talk about what we do with boys in rehab but we’ve tried everything to make him available.
“There are 23 hours to go so let’s see what happens.”