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Pochettino warns Carabao Cup final officials over Klopp’s Liverpool exit bias

Mauricio Pochettino has urged the officials in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final to be “fair” as he warned against them getting caught up in the emotion around Jürgen Klopp’s departure from Liverpool.

Chelsea’s head coach looked to ramp up the mind games as he called on Chris Kavanagh, who will referee the final, to treat both teams equally. Pochettino referenced Chelsea being denied two penalties when they lost 4-1 to Liverpool at Anfield last month and said he did not want his side’s task at Wembley made harder by forces out of their control.

The comments came when Pochettino was asked whether the pressure on Liverpool could be greater because Klopp is leaving at the end of the season. “Good question,” he said. “It is not pressure for him. Maybe it is for the people who want to celebrate with Liverpool. I think we need to be sure we are going to compete and be fair in every single decision.

“When we played at Anfield I think too many decisions … not one key decision was for us. Two penalties were not given. Duels, 50-50s, always for another colour. Always red. I want to be treated in a fair way. Of course we are going to celebrate. I am the first who is going to say that Liverpool is amazing and Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world.

“But after my last experience playing there, what I want in Wembley is to go there and not feel the pressure. It is to play a game in the same level and the best team will win. But not to feel the pressure of people around.”

Chelsea were the first Premier League side to face Liverpool after the news about Klopp’s future. “It is nice,” Pochettino said. “Liverpool is an amazing club and I love Klopp. The way he is is amazing. It is his last season here. We are going to compete in the same way, both teams, and [we want] both clubs to be seen in the same way.”

Pochettino was asked whether Chelsea were going to Wembley to spoil the party. “No,” he said. “We want to win because of Chelsea. Of course Liverpool want to win. But please, not another party involved in the game will be part of the celebration that Klopp is leaving, no? That is important.”

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