Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has accused Jurgen Klopp of simply looking for excuses after the Liverpool boss' comments in the wake of the recent 1-1 draw between the two sides.
Klopp admitted he was frustrated with Spurs' 'defensive' gameplan and was quick to remind Conte that his side are only fifth in the Premier League - comments the German has since apologised for.
Conte was given his chance to respond during Tuesday's press conference, in which he insisted that Spurs deserved all three points against Liverpool and suggested that Klopp was just trying to find an excuse for losing the tactical battle.
"Anyone who knows me, knows very well I want to win every game," he explained. "I try to transfer this thought to my players.
"For sure, when I stay in one team, in a club, my aspiration and desire is to fight to win the title. To win the league in England is not simple, it's easy. [Pep] Guardiola said Liverpool won one league in 30 years, maybe. It shows it's not simple.
"Maybe sometimes it's easier to win Champions League or Europa League or other competitions than the league in England, where you have to face monsters. But after the game against Liverpool, the good answer I had was that my players were disappointed at the end of the game because they felt the possibility to win the game.
"We analysed the game the day after, and for sure if there was a team that deserved to win and created the chances to win, it was Tottenham not Liverpool. In this game, I think Klopp understood he gained one point not lost two points. Jurgen is an intelligent person, he's very clever. He was a bit frustrated after the game.
"At the same time, for us, for a top coach and for every coach, it's important to learn that after the game it's important to be focused on your team, not your opponent. To be focused on your opponent, it means you want to find an excuse or alibi because your job didn't work or something was wrong."
Conte went on to reveal that he did not take Klopp's comments to heart and instead urged the Liverpool boss to work on keeping his composure after disappointing results.
"Honestly, for the coach it's not simple, it's not easy after the game," he said. "You have to try to keep a cool head.
"Sometimes it's not easy or simple. If you remember this season I was disappointed for a bad result and I was disappointed with myself, with my players. When we lost against Burnley and if you remember I gave to myself the fault about the defeat.
"Sometimes we're a bit frustrated, especially when you arrive at the end of the season and you understand that a bad game and a bad result can change the target for you.
"But I repeat, I have great respect for Jurgen and I know that he respects me a lot. This is a good chance for him, for me and all the coaches to learn that during the game you never speak about your opponents. It's important to be focused on your team and the situations where you can maybe do better. You speak about your own problems."
Source : 90min