Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool supporters to take their seats at Anfield early rather than line the streets to welcome the team buses this Sunday, so as to avoid a repeat of the scenes which marred Manchester City’s Champions League visit in 2018.
City have repeated security concerns about their coach journey and Klopp said Liverpool could only blame themselves for the enduring ill-will about the incident when fans threw bottles at the visitors’ coach.
There has been no coach welcome for any club since after Klopp called for the tradition to end – those that took place prior to the City incident were organised in liaison with supporters’ groups.
Klopp wants fans to make noise inside Anfield instead.
“I’m a big believer of fan power – in the stadium. Come early into the stadium, come inside, nothing to do outside, wait for the team warming up, be there,” said Klopp.
“[The coach incident] was a senseless thing. If somebody at Man City is concerned still, then it’s our fault.
“Not that we did it all together, we all didn’t throw the bottle or whatever it was, but it was one of us. That’s why we are responsible. All of us have to make sure that something like this will never happen again.
“It’s long ago and since then nothing has happened. I don’t think it was Man City specific. After the punishment we got, we haven’t had a similar situation – the positive outcome of something like this. Actually, we used to enjoy that (the coach welcome), when we come in, it’s impressive. It’s a nice part of football, but if you overstep the line then it’s not allowed that you do it anymore.
“That’s how it is. I wish I could say it will never happen again but unfortunately I can’t. But what I can say is we will do everything that it will never happen again. Everybody agrees to feel this responsibility that it won’t happen again.
“That’s why I say – go in the stadium, nothing to do outside, have your food, go in, wait for the team, we will come, let’s make a pretty special game of it In football, you never know what you get for it. But we know what we have to do for it. Let’s make sure that we show that.
“Everybody in the stadium has to be in absolutely top shape. The guy who sells the hot dogs has to be in the top shape.”
Although Klopp was echoing an apology in 2018, Pep Guardiola took exception to the reference to “one bottle” being hurled Manchester City’s team bus.
“Hopefully it will not happen again. The police knew about [it] for the Champions League game before and didn’t do anything,” Guardiola said.
“I don’t know what they are going to do, hopefully it will be an incredible game at Anfield for the Premier League and for all around the world.
“That is what we want. Hopefully it’s not going to happen, the same that happened two seasons ago when we arrive, which was more than one bottle.”