Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has branded VAR a “real problem” in the wake of Saturday’s review-filled win over Aston Villa.
Three incidents required further investigation from the video assistant referee during the Reds’ 2-1 win at Villa Park. Trezeguet’s opening goal of the match stood after an offside check; the linesman’s decision to rule Roberto Firmino offside was upheld when replays showed his armpit was ahead of the last defender; Sadio Mane wanted a penalty in the first half, but after he was shown a yellow card for diving, the decision was upheld upon review.
“Look, we have now a real problem,” Klopp said of VAR after the match, according to Melissa Reddy of ESPN.
“It’s not to laugh about, to be honest. For that it is too serious. Managers get the sack for losing football games. It’s just like this. I don’t want to make it bigger really than it is, but in fact we just have to clarify it.”
He added: “My analysts showed me (the Firmino situation) after the game, I didn’t see anything and now I heard it. Whoever did it is not doing it on purpose but at the end, we need to sort a couple of things obviously.”
The bench boss also seemed perplexed by the decision not to use VAR to probe a potential penalty in the 74th minute for a possible handball on Bjorn Engels.
“The handball situation, nobody talks about that because it was not whistled. Imagine if it would have been whistled and then we would have talked about it. But nobody whistled it, we didn’t say anything,” Klopp explained. “Was it a penalty? The shot is here, the shot hits the arm, so in a good old time it was a penalty. Sometimes it’s in your favour and sometimes it’s against you, that’s how it is. That’s not a problem.
“But we have to make sure the new system helps the game and not confuse it, that’s all. But I think that’s in the interests of all of us.”