Mauricio Pochettino says Liverpool must not be treated with any favouritism in the Carabao Cup final amid Jurgen Klopp’s final season with the club and the script of a fairytale ending.

Klopp, appointed Liverpool manager in 2015, announced last month he would be stepping down as manager at the end of the season, citing a lack of ‘energy’. Since then his side have attained five wins in six games.

The Reds vanquished Chelsea 4-1 in January, but Pochettino claimed the officials were not impartial, with Conor Gallagher and Christopher Nkunku both seeing penalty shouts waved away by referee Paul Tierney.

And The Blues’ manager called on the officials to act fairly and not give any special treatment to the Premier League leaders.

He said: "I think we need to be sure that we are going to compete and be fair in every single decision - because I think when we play Liverpool, 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.

"I am the first to say that Liverpool is amazing and Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world. But I think after my last experience playing there, what I want at Wembley is to go there and to not feel the pressure, to play the game in the same level and at best we win. But not to feel the pressure from people around or…you understand what I’m saying.

Pochettino says the offcials must not be influenced by the news of Klopp's departure and treat both sides equally(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Pochettino says the offcials must not be influenced by the news of Klopp's departure and treat both sides equally(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

"Liverpool is an amazing club and I love Klopp and the way that he is is amazing. But of course, it's his last season here and we’re going to compete in the same way, both teams and of course to give and to see the things that for both clubs in the same way.”

He continued: “The most important thing is to go and compete. We need to talk and they were better than us [at Anfield]. But the first decision after five minutes, that was a clear penalty, and the second half that was a penalty on Nkunku.

"And after you see VAR interfering in many situations that are different and maybe similar and giving a penalty. It's like, yes, we are Chelsea, we need to go there and compete with the same tools, and of course if they are better, well done, congratulate them. But being fair in every single decision, the pressure is about delivering the job for the players, the pressure is not to be part of all the…you know.” 

  • Superstitions?

Former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel praised his 'lucky shoes' following the 2021 Champions League final triumph over Manchester City.

The German's Hoka One One's were a gift from PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Tuchel promised he would wear them in the showpiece final against Bayern Munich - but he didn't keep his word and his side suffered a 1-0 defeat.

So he vowed to debut them a year later against City and the decision paid dividends, with players seen worshipping the shoes in videos of the dressing room celebrations.

But, despite keeping a box of lucky lemons on his desk at Cobham, Pochettino is not a superstitious manager.

Asked if he had any lucky routines from finals with PSG, he said: “Yes, [we had] Mbappe! Finals football belongs to the players. Players are the most important part of the game. We are not so important. I think when [we] arrive in this type of moment, for the final its about to have the players in the best condition, that in a good form and with full energy and the capacity to compete at their best, that is the key factor."

Pochettino won three trophies with PSG(Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Pochettino won three trophies with PSG(Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) via GETTY (