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Jurgen Klopp charged by FA over Kevin Friend comments

Despite Manchester City's strong run of form, ESPN FC's Paul Mariner explains why Liverpool remain his favourites to win the Premier League title.
Manuel Pellegrini recalls an offside goal Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund scored versus his Malaga side after Monday night's controversial goal by Sadio Mane.

The English Football Association have charged Jurgen Klopp following his comments about referee Kevin Friend in the aftermath of Liverpool's 1-1 draw with West Ham United on Feb. 4.

The Liverpool manager has until 6 p.m. local time on Feb. 18 to respond.

In a postmatch interview with Sky Sports, Klopp suggested Friend did not "want to open the gap a bit more" after half-time as the match officials made a clear mistake in the first half.

"Jurgen Klopp has today been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3," an FA statement said on Wednesday. "It is alleged that comments he made in a postmatch interview... breached Rule E3(1) as they questioned the integrity of the match referee and/or implied bias."

Liverpool went 1-0 up against West Ham through a Sadio Mane goal in the 22nd minute, despite James Milner clearly being offside in the build-up. Michail Antonio equalised for the hosts six minutes later.

"[We] scored a goal, which I heard after the game, was offside, which explains a little bit the second half," Klopp afterward. "I think the ref knew at half-time, I only knew after the game. He knew it, for sure, at half-time and then you saw there was a lot of strange situations -- not decisive, just rhythm-breakers. That obviously didn't help us.

Klopp added: "In the second half there were so many situations -- 50-50s, 60-40s or whatever -- and a free-kick for the other team.

"As a human being, if I would have known that I had made a big mistake in the first half [then] I don't want to open the gap up a bit more.

"The refs are obviously human beings and I understand that. In the game I did not understand it because I had no clue that our goal was offside."

In December, the FA hit Klopp with a £8000 fine for improper conduct as he celebrated a stoppage-time winner against Everton by running to the centre circle.

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