Jurgen Klopp had a forgettable experience the last time he managed a team in a match at Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo and will be desperate to avoid a similar outcome when Liverpool face the Italian outfit in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The 51-year-old was sent to the stands back in 2013 when he was still in charge of Borussia Dortmund, who travelled to Naples for a Champions League Group Stage match. Napoli, who at that time were being managed by former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, took the lead in the 29th minute through Gonzalo Higuaín. But Klopp exploded and directed his anger at the fourth official when Dortmund defender Neven Subotic wasn’t given enough time to get back into position after receiving treatment on the sidelines, leading to Higuaín’s scoring opportunity.
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Klopp’s actions earned him a sending off but it wasn’t long until he was struck a further blow as goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller received a red card for taking down the Argentinian striker outside of the box. Dortmund never got back into the game and Lorenzo Insigne added to their misery with a perfectly taken free-kick in the second half as Benitez’s men claimed a 2-1 win over the previous season’s finalists.
Klopp, however, did apologise to the official after the match but the incident led to UEFA taking action against the German, handing him a one-game ban in the Champions League. Klopp served his suspension and watched his side’s next game in the competition against Marseille from the stands.
Five years on and Klopp returns to the same venue with one of the most dangerous teams in the competition. Liverpool head into the encounter off the back of beating PSG 3-2 in the opening round of fixtures but the manager insisted that he is hoping for a stronger outing on Wednesday evening.
According to the BBC, Klopp is convinced that he’s become much better at handling his temper on the touchline.
“It was not my best behaviour. Since then nothing happened any more, so it was my last time when I was a bit too excited,” said Klopp ahead of the match.
Napoli, currently under the management of Carlo Ancelotti, have had a good start to their domestic season, sitting in second position in Serie A. However, they will be hoping to put in a better shift than last time out in Europe, when they drew 0-0 at Red Star Belgrade.