Belfast Telegraph

Lovren believes Lukaku contact in Anfield scrap was intentional

NK Maribor v Liverpool, Champions League Group E: Stadion Ljudskivrt, Tonight, 7.45pm

By Carl Markham

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has accused Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku of deliberately flicking a boot into his face during Saturday's goalless draw at Anfield.

Shortly before half-time, the Croatia international was involved in a clash with the former Everton forward which resulted in the centre-back rolling around on the floor holding his face.

The Belgian frontman was not punished by referee Martin Atkinson at the time and it was yesterday confirmed he will face no retrospective action from the video review panel despite Lovren claiming his foot had connected with his cheekbone.

"I made a tackle there. I just felt he was over me and he could move away but to be honest my point of view is that he did it on purpose," said Lovren ahead of Liverpool's Champions League match in Maribor.

"Even if he did it normally he would apologise after that but I saw he was nervous during the game so maybe that was also the reason."

Asked whether he was disappointed Lukaku would not face any further punishment Lovren added: "That happened on the pitch and it is over."

Lovren's comments overshadowed a pivotal game in Liverpool's campaign but, despite falling between matches against United and Tottenham, boss Jurgen Klopp insists he won't rotate his squad.

"I know what people are thinking. This (Maribor) is the place they should rotate," he said. "No chance. It is the last place I would do things like this.

"We need to be good again and take the result, not think we have it already."

Belfast Telegraph

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