Decisions by VAR correct: Klopp

Decisions by VAR correct: Klopp

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp was frustrated after a late Pascal Gross penalty forced Liverpool to settle for a 1-1 Premier League draw at Brighton yesterday.

But, for once, he admitted that “the decisions were right” by the VAR (video assistant referee).

A Diogo Jota goal looked to have secured a win for Klopp’s side, but Gross drilled home his spot kick in stoppage time after a pitchside monitor review saw Andy Robertson punished for kicking the foot of Danny Welbeck.

Liverpool had earlier seen two goals ruled out by VAR.

The defending champions still moved a point clear at the top of the table with 21 points from 10 games while second-placed Tottenham, who play at Chelsea today, have 20 points from nine.

“The penalty, it is how it is. I think the decisions were right, yes,” Klopp said on BT Sport.

“In football, you need always a little bit of luck to win a tough away game. Today we didn’t have luck.”

He added of the two goals ruled out for offside against Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane: “We are used to armpits (being offside), and club badges, so if it’s a toe then it’s obviously offside. And the other one with Sadio was clear.”

Aaron Connolly wasted a great chance to put Brighton ahead in the 10th minute when he was put through clear on goal by Neal Maupay. But, with only Alisson Becker to beat, he placed his shot wide.

The hosts had an even better chance 10 minutes later when Liverpool right-back Nico Williams brought down Connolly, but Maupay put his penalty kick well wide.

Having had those two let-offs, Liverpool thought they had taken the lead when Roberto Firmino fed Salah, who burst goalwards and poked the ball past Mat Ryan. But VAR ruled the Egyptian had been in an offside position.

The opening goal came on the hour when Robertson fed Salah, who laid off to Jota who, in turn, veered across the top of the penalty area, creating space for a low shot which he squeezed into the bottom corner.

It was his ninth goal of the season in 14 appearances in all competitions, including eight in his last eight games for the Reds.

Liverpool, who face Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday, suffered a blow when James Milner had to go off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Mane then had a headed effort ruled out for offside, before the late Brighton equaliser.

While Klopp conceded Brighton’s penalty decision was right, his skipper Jordan Henderson felt aggrieved.

“It should be three points, in my opinion. I’ve seen the replay. It’s not a pen,” he said. “It feels like we’re standing here every week and discussing incidents. I don’t want to get into trouble, but for me it’s not a penalty.

Henderson also said Welbeck had told him the incident did not merit a penalty, and the Brighton striker himself described it as a “soft penalty”.

“I got there in front and nicked it around him. He kicked me and then the ball, so… the referee went to see it on the screen and made his decision,” Welbeck said.

REUTERS