Tony Pulis puts Jurgen Klopp in place over “long-ball” accusations as Liverpool row rumbles on

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West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis has hit back at Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp following his accusation that the Baggies “only play long balls”.

Klopp refused to shake hands with Pulis after last weekend’s bad-blooded 2-2 draw at Anfield in which the German made headlines with his full-time celebrations.

But what really angered Pulis was Klopp’s claims that Liverpool were “not allowed” to lose to opposition who “only play long balls” when the statistics made interesting reading.

The Welshman also suggested that his opposite number was simply looking for excuses because his expensively-assembled squad were not able to turn Albion over.

Pulis responded at his Friday press conference, according to Sky Sports: “I’m really sorry and apologise now to Liverpool Football Club for playing three more balls over the top than they did – and that stat is courtesy of Sky Sports. Maybe he should take notice of that. It’s disappointing.

“If I had a team that was worth £200m playing against a team that was worth less than £20m and we never won that game, I’d be doing my best to divert it away from the fact that I had 10 times more value on the pitch than my opposition number had and couldn’t win the game.

“I’m just stating the facts. Forget all the spin, that’s the facts.

“I don’t know the fella, I don’t want to say anything else. They were the facts. We’ve got a big game on Saturday, a game that we think will be more difficult than the Liverpool game.”

Although the Reds did play only three fewer long balls than West Brom last weekend, the Baggies average 72 per game in the Premier League this season compared to Liverpool’s 58.

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