After Liverpool’s first defeat since April, Jürgen Klopp congratulated opponents West Ham – and scolded refereeing.
Since David Moyes returned, and it’s been almost two years now, West Ham United have been almost unrecognisable. “Obviously they are playing a very good season,” Jürgen Klopp praised the opposition on Sunday night. Obviously because Klopp’s Liverpool FC had just conceded their first competitive defeat since April at Moyes’ West Ham.
Nevertheless, Klopp felt that West Ham’s 2:3 defeat was “a bit more like the old West Ham” from the Reds’ point of view, i.e. “standing deep, looking for standard and counter-attacking situations”. And that worked out very well, although Liverpool had the game “completely under control” (Klopp) at least in half one.
Klopp on Alisson own goal: “How can that not be a foul? “
Only in the second period had “too many mistakes” crept into the game of the now only fourth in the table. “And for me it looked like we were losing patience for whatever reason,” Klopp said. West Ham took advantage, countered to make it 2-1 (Fornals), went 3-1 up (Zouma) through a set piece and are now ahead of Liverpool in the table.
The mistakes, the impatience, West Ham’s vigilance – Klopp listed all these reasons at the press conference and deliberately did not name one of the decisive ones in his view for the defeat: referee Craig Pawson.
When Klopp was asked about the 0:1, before which Alisson had been decisively interfered with by Angelo Ogbonna, he only smiled briefly: “It was a clear foul on Alisson. When you see the dynamics of the whole situation, how close they are – how can that not be a foul? The referee took it easy and thought, ‘Let’s see what the VAR says.’ The VAR looked at it and said, ‘No clear mistake’. I don’t know why. The decision is really strange. “
Whoever is in charge of the VAR is hiding behind the referees.
And it didn’t stop there. Just a few minutes later Aaron Cresswell had gone in over-hard in a one-on-one with Jordan Henderson and “you can’t discuss that at all,” Klopp thought. “It’s a clear red card. Yes, he (Cresswell) touched the ball, but if it’s a reckless foul, it doesn’t matter if you touch the ball. You can’t go into a duel at that level.”
Klopp blamed a fundamental flaw in refereeing, saying, “We have a problem with clear and obvious mistakes because whoever is in charge of VAR hides behind the referees. That was a big problem for us today.” So were our own mistakes and the opponent’s standard and counter-attacking situations.