A clear error of judgement also cost Liverpool FC points at Tottenham on Saturday. It came down to a bitter VAR check – with two fateful words.
When the referees’ organisation PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) speaks out shortly after a Premier League game, it’s usually not a good sign, and that was the case on Saturday night. In a statement, they ruefully admitted that Liverpool FC had been wrongly disallowed a goal in their match with Tottenham Hotspur.
The PGMOL attributed the failure of the VAR to correct the “factual” error of disallowing Luis Diaz’s opening goal in the 35th minute due to an alleged offside position to a “human error”. But what exactly did it consist of?
The VAR recognised the correctness of the goal – but that was apparently not enough
Klopp had spoken of a wrongly drawn offside line immediately after the late 2-1 defeat, in which his Liverpool were forced to play a long period of time in a double-deficit. But apparently, simply the communication between video assistant Darren England and referee Simon Hooper turned the VAR intervention into a check of horror.
As reported by the BBC among others, England had immediately recognised that there was no offside, but then only passed the words “check complete” to Hooper – apparently in the brief mistaken belief that the goal had been awarded on the field. When the game was resumed with an indirect free kick for Tottenham, it was too late to resolve the misunderstanding. TV pundit Jamie Carragher was not the only one who thought this was “nonsense” and called it an “appalling mistake”.
Klopp on PGMOL statement: “Is it helpful? No “
Klopp grumbled that he had “never seen a game like this in such unfair conditions and crazy decisions” and was not impressed by the PGMOL statement. “Is that helpful? No,” he told the post-match press conference. “We also had the situation in the ManUnited game. Did they get points for that? No. We won’t get any for that today either, so it doesn’t help.”
No one committed the mistake on purpose, Klopp did say. Still, he is sure: “In the good old days, even a linesman should have seen that it was not offside.” Liverpool missed out on a move to the top of the table with their first defeat of the season.