London - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday that defender Joe Gomez was "better than good" after his altercation with England team-mate Raheem Sterling earlier this month.
Manchester City forward Sterling initially clashed with Reds defender
Gomez towards the end of the Premier League match between the sides on
November 10 at Anfield.
The pair were then involved in a fracas the following day on England
duty, with Sterling later apologising at a team meeting and on social
Sterling subsequently sat out England's Euro 2020 qualifier against
Montenegro as punishment but returned to the starting line-up in the 4-0
victory over Kosovo on Sunday.
Klopp said Gomez, who was left with a scratch on his face following
the clash, was fine and the German had no issues with how the situation
"He is good, better than good," Klopp said at his pre-match press conference, anxious to downplay the incident.
"The people involved were fine pretty quick," he added. "Things like this happen in a football environment, that's how it is."
"(England manager) Gareth (Southgate) and the English FA (Football
Association) dealt with it in a way they thought was right and I cannot
judge that because I was not in the situation but the most important
thing is that the players are absolutely OK."
The Liverpool boss said it was good to see Jose Mourinho back in the
Premier League after he replaced Mauricio Pochettino in the Tottenham
hot seat but had warm words for the Argentine.
"Welcome back Jose," said Klopp. "It's nice to have him back. He was
desperate you could see (to return) in the time when he was not in.
"But on the other side of course Mauricio is not there any more and
that shows how quick things change nowadays. That's how it is. I think
it was only around about five months ago we played each other in the
Champions League final.
"And now he's on holiday and I hope he can enjoy it to be honest. He did a brilliant job at Tottenham. Nobody doubts that."
Liverpool are eight points clear of second-placed Leicester at the
top of the Premier League and nine ahead of defending champions
Manchester City but Klopp played down the notion of title talk.
"We don't think about the title race," he said. "The biggest challenge is facing constant questions about it.
"Apart from that so far it's a normal season."
"We play as good as we can, we try to get as many points as we can
and the challenges are the... games we have to play and the next one is