Jurgen Klopp vs Erik ten Hag: Complete head-to-head record

Grey Whitebloom
Erik ten Hag (left) and Jurgen Klopp are in charge of England's two most successful clubs
Erik ten Hag (left) and Jurgen Klopp are in charge of England's two most successful clubs / Getty Images/GettyImages

At the end of 2019, a panel of their peers deemed Jurgen Klopp and Erik ten Hag to be two of the best four managers in men's football.

Ten Hag backed Klopp to win that year's gong at FIFA's creatively named 'The Best' awards - which he did - but his relationship with Liverpool's long-serving manager hasn't always been so rosy. After leaving Ajax to join Manchester United, arguably Liverpool's fiercest rivals, Ten Hag's head-to-heads with Klopp have taken on an extra layer of enmity.

Here's how each manager has faced when their teams have duked it out on the pitch.

1. Ajax 0-1 Liverpool (21/10/2020)

Sadio Mane
It was a cross from Sadio Mane (right) which forced Ajax's own goal / Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

At the end of a "wild" Champions League group-stage match that an injury-ravaged Liverpool narrowly edged courtesy of an own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico, Klopp couldn't help but point out the playing surface.

"I really think the pitch was really tricky. It was like deep, muddy a little bit," he said. "Even if you can’t see it from outside but it was like this because both teams looked really exhausted pretty early.”

They were hardly the worst conditions Liverpool have faced when playing in Amsterdam - a Johan Cruyff-inspired Ajax famously rattled five goals past Liverpool amid dense fog in 1966 - but Ten Hag wasn't too impressed either. "Let’s hope we get a better pitch at Anfield then," he snapped.

2. Liverpool 1-0 Ajax (01/12/2020)

Curtis Jones
Curtis Jones wheels away after scoring his first Champions League goal in 2020 / Pool/GettyImages

Klopp had hoisted aloft the Champions League trophy one year earlier but described a 1-0 victory at home to Ten Hag's Ajax as "the most important, most difficult, most exceptional" European win of his entire tenure at the club.

As well as securing Liverpool's progress to the knockout stages with one game to spare - and thereby hampering Ajax's chances - the victory was achieved in front of an empty Anfield and without the likes of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk or Trent Alexander-Arnold.

While Liverpool's stand-in goalkeeper stood firm - Caoimhin Kelleher made four crucial saves while keeping a clean sheet on his Champions League debut - Ajax's first-choice custodian wilted.

Andre Onana wandered off his line but let Neco Williams' in-swinging cross drift through the air. However, the ball did not - as Onana expected - go out of play, instead landing on Curtis Jones' instep before nestling in an unguarded net. “I am not the best," Onana admitted, presumably to nods of agreement in the mixed zone, "mistakes can happen to anyone."

3. Manchester Utd 2-1 Liverpool (22/08/2022)

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford celebrated his fifth Premier League goal against Liverpool in August - only Wayne Rooney (six) had more for United in this fixture / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Both Liverpool and United limped into the third fixture of the 2022/23 Premier League season without a win. Klopp's side had been held to a pair of draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace while Ten Hag began his reign at United with defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

By the end of that sticky August night at Old Trafford, Liverpool remained winless. United, emphatically, were not.

Playing with a renewed verve and vigour, the hosts raced into a 2-0 lead before Mohamed Salah - so often United's tormentor-in-chief - nabbed a consolation goal.

Ten Hag was fizzing with enthusiasm as his side produced a preview of the type of performance which would become increasingly common in the Dutchman's debut campaign.

"There was communication, there was a fighting spirit and especially there was a team, and you can see what they can achieve," Ten Hag gleefully chirped. "Because they can f***ing play good football.”

4. Liverpool 7-0 Man Utd (05/03/2022)

Gakpo made his mark against Man Utd / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

After Ten Hag beat Klopp in their first Premier League clash, things continued to go well for the Dutchman and badly for the German with Man Utd 10 points ahead in the table by the time they met at Anfield.

While form is usually a good indicator of how things are going to go in a match though, that wasn't the case this time around with the home side blowing their rivals away.

The visitors were perhaps the better team in the first half but went into the break behind thanks to an excellent goal from Cody Gakpo, and the Dutchman wasn't gone there.

Ten Hag's compatriot and Darwin Nunez both scored at the beginning of the second half to make it 3-0, and the Red Devils completely fell apart after that.

Nunez went on to get a second, Mohamed Salah got two and Roberto Firmino got one to hand Man Utd's manager the biggest defeat of his managerial career.