Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he could never be friends with Diego Costa and that the Chelsea striker is “not the nicest guy” on the pitch.
Costa won a penalty, for a foul by Joel Matip, that was saved by Simon Mignolet as the Blues were held to a 1-1 Premier League draw at Anfield.
“What [Blues boss] Antonio Conte is doing is outstanding – but Chelsea without Costa this season?” said Klopp.
Despite the draw, Chelsea extended their lead at the top to nine points.
Klopp added: “If I had played against Costa I could never be friends, that’s how it is, but when you have him in your team it’s much more fun. He is a warrior.”
Liverpool produced a much-improved performance as they ended a run of three successive defeats with a hard-earned point against the leaders.
David Luiz put the visitors ahead with a free-kick which embarrassed Mignolet, before the Liverpool keeper saved Costa’s penalty after Georginio Wijnaldum equalised with a header.
“When you have a good chance with a penalty in the 76th minute then you think you could win and take three points but Mignolet made a great save,” said Chelsea boss Conte.
“We had two chances to score the second goal but it didn’t happen but we must be pleased. It wasn’t easy to play with the same intensity of Liverpool so we must be pleased.”
Chelsea may not have left Liverpool with a victory – but they pulled away from Anfield on their way back to London with an important point and their position at the top of the Premier League strengthened.
Antonio Conte’s side showed the touch of champions to draw 1-1 at Liverpool – they might even have won had Costa scored a late penalty – even though they were nowhere near their best.
Liverpool pressurised and pushed them with a style that was high on intensity but short on guile and quality, but Chelsea never panicked and were still pushing for a win late on, as indeed were Jurgen Klopp’s side.