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Liverpool play in an “arrogant” way and were fortunate not to receive 10-match bans for their tackling against Tottenham – that’s according to former Italy international Marco Tardelli.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were held to a 2-2 draw at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday in a contender for the game of the season so far in the Premier League.
Much of the post-match discussion has centred on referee Paul Tierney’s handling of the game, with Klopp furious with the official at the full-time whistle.
Tierney showed Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson a straight red card for a wild challenge on Emerson Royal in the second half, having only given Tottenham striker Harry Kane a yellow for arguably a worse challenge earlier in the match.
While Robertson and Klopp may feel aggrieved, 1982 World Cup winner Tardelli says Liverpool should count themselves lucky and claims the Reds are given “protection”.
Assessing the quality of Liverpool compared to their Champions League last 16 opponents Inter Milan, Tardelli told Gazzetta dello Sport: “I hear people say that Liverpool are unplayable, but no team is, especially against this Inter side.
“The important thing is that Inter play with this same hunger and desire to play football.
“They need a different level of intensity with Liverpool and also a better rapport with the referee.
“The fouls that Liverpool players did against Tottenham yesterday, they’d have received a 10-match ban in Italy.
“Besides, Liverpool are almost arrogant in the way they play, all too aware of how strong they are and the protection that they enjoy.”
Liverpool travel to face Inter in the first leg of their Champions League knockout tie on February 16, with the return leg at Anfield on March 8.
Inter are currently four points clear at the top of Serie A, having lost just once in the league this season.
Tardelli has been particularly impressed by the management style of Simone Inzaghi, who was appointed as Antonio Conte’s successor at the San Siro.
“Inter are comfortably the strongest team in Italy and they have shaken off the stress they had before,” Tardelli added.
“It wasn’t easy to reboot without Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi, Christian Eriksen and Antonio Conte, but Inzaghi is immediately credible.”
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