Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has bemoaned his unwanted special treatment while claiming Jurgen Klopp is not punished for his behaviour on the touchline.
The pair will go head-to-head again on Thursday night when Liverpool travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, six weeks on from a spiky encounter at Anfield where choice words were exchanged at full-time.
Mourinho reiterated that the best team lost that day, though Klopp naturally interpreted the game in a different way, and then the Portuguese came out in his post-match interview and suggested Klopp’s animated antics go unpunished.
Klopp recently clashed with Burnley boss Sean Dyche in the tunnel and Mourinho says the German is not moderated in the same way as he is.
“In my case, I felt an evolution. I felt an evolution on the emotional control,” Mourinho said referring to his own touchline behaviour, which has landed him in hot water in the past.
“I felt an evolution in that the calmer I am the better I can read the game. And I’m even happy that my assistants, they look to the touchline sometimes for communication and I stay in a privileged position.
“And I felt that I had to change my behaviour, which I’m really really happy with. That’s my personal case. I cannot speak for other guys.
“What I can say, is when I didn’t behave well I paid the price. And I paid the price in two ways: one was to see matches on TV in the dressing room and another price was big-money fines and I feel that, for some of the other guys, it doesn’t happen the same.
“It doesn’t happen the same with them. But, if the referee and the fourth official are there to do that job, I just hope they do that job and act the way they have to act.”
Tempers may be simmering on Thursday night given the importance of the game for both sides’ hopes of challenging for the title.
Liverpool’s defence of their crown is in tatters, having not won in five games and not scored in their last four and they sit seven points behind leaders Manchester City.
Despite their problems, Mourinho says they are still an “amazing” side.
“For me, Liverpool is an amazing team and they can still win the Premier League,” he said.
“The team is the same or better. The coach is the same or better. Because as a coach, it’s a job where experience helps you to be better. Because, for me, a coach with one more year is better than previously.
“They got some very good players. They lost a fundamental player, they lost a fundamental player, we can say what we want, we can try to hide things, but some players are special and they are impossible to replace so even sometimes the defensive process has a relation with losing an attacking player.
“The attacking process also is related to a defensive player that you have lost. It can look like a contradiction but is not a contradiction. But it is not a contradiction.
“A team very stable defensively is a team with much better conditions to attack and vice versa. They lost (Virgil) Van Dijk. It’s very, very important for them.
“If they had one or two results, not the best results, they didn’t score as many goals as normal then it’s normal they went into a little phase of a little bit of less confidence, a little bit of less results but, for me, they are the same. For me, nothing changes in the way I look to Liverpool.”