Jurgen Klopp highlighted issues with VAR in the decision not to send off Robert Sanchez for his challenge on Luis Diaz, saying the problem lies with the phrase ‘clear and obvious’.
Klopp’s men took the lead in surreal fashion during their 2-0 win over Brighton when the brilliant Luis Diaz bravely headed home and got poleaxed by Brighton goalkeeper Sanchez in the immediate aftermath. The Liverpool forward walked away with no serious injury.
VAR, with Stuart Attwell on duty, did review the incident but decided the goalkeeper’s high tackle on the Colombian was not even worthy of sending referee Mike Dean to the monitor to assess whether serious foul play had occurred.
Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville took to Twitter to air their surprise at the decision not to send off the Spanish goalkeeper.
Neville tweeted: “Got to be a red card!”
Carragher added: “I’m convinced the red card wasn’t given because it was a goal. That header goes past the post & it’s a red card. It’s almost like, a goal is enough.”
Klopp did not commit to whether he thought it was a red card but his frustration with the way VAR is implemented was clear to see, highlighting the problem with the term ‘clear and obvious’.
“I can’t talk about the situation as I only saw it once,” he said.
“It’s a very good example of the issues we have with VAR. Mike Dean sees the goal and maybe isn’t even thinking about a red card as the assistant referee is looking for offside. But it was a goal. But then there is an issue with ‘clear and obvious’. This phrase is the real problem.
“Everybody is asking me whether it was a red card or not and when you get asked these questions it means most people thought it was a red card. So, for what reason could it not be a red card then? And there is only one reason for it: the phrase ‘clear and obvious’. We have a referee who might not make a decision because there is VAR but then the VAR is thinking ‘maybe Mike thought it wasn’t a penalty so it’s not clear and obvious’ – you just can’t have that view. The phrase ‘clear and obvious’ is a real problem from our point of view. It should be ‘wrong or right’ not ‘clear and obvious’.
“Nobody should feel like overturning somebody. VAR is part of the team of referees and not someone from the outside who thinks he might embarrass the referee with his decision. There is a lot space for improvement that’s for sure.”
Klopp: Salah overstretched his foot
Mohamed Salah grabbed his 20th Premier League goal of the season to double Liverpool’s advantage.
Salah now has 20 goals for the Premier League season and has hit that milestone in four of his last five seasons with the club.
But shortly after converting from the spot, Salah went down and required treatment before being replaced by Diogo Jota.
Klopp confirmed Salah was substituted because of a foot problem but played down the seriousness.
“He thinks it’s not serious but you can see when Mo Salah is sitting down then something is not 100 per cent right,” Klopp told BT Sport.
Klopp added: “He overstretched his foot, he’s [Salah] not concerned. He thinks it will be fine but he couldn’t walk properly.”