ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
LONDON • Jurgen Klopp was left fuming at the VAR (video assistant referee) after his Liverpool side were held to a 2-2 Premier League derby draw with Everton at Goodison Park yesterday, as a late effort from Jordan Henderson was ruled out by the technology.
The game was locked at two goals apiece after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 10th goal of the season in all competitions had brought Everton level in the 81st minute.
But, in stoppage time, Thiago Alcantara found Sadio Mane with a clever pass and the Senegalese’s low cross was turned in by Henderson, only for VAR to find the narrowest of offsides by Mane.
“I’ve seen the disallowed goal at the end and in the picture I saw it wasn’t offside. Can someone explain that to me?” Klopp said.
“I don’t know where the line is where you can do offside. I’m a big supporter of VAR but you expect them to make the right decisions. I’ve done 10 interviews and everyone has told me it’s not offside. That doesn’t lift my mood.”
Everton remained top of the table on 13 points, three ahead of Liverpool, after an incident-packed end to the 237th Merseyside Derby.
To add to the Reds’ disappointment, they suffered an injury to key defender Virgil van Dijk which forced the Dutchman out of the game in the 11th minute.
Liverpool were humiliated 7-2 by Aston Villa just before the international break but they quickly set about putting things right when Mane scored in the third minute, firing home a low cross from Andy Robertson.
I’m a big supporter of VAR but you expect them to make the right decisions. I’ve done 10 interviews and everyone has told me it’s not offside. That doesn’t lift my mood.
JURGEN KLOPP , Liverpool manager, on the VAR decision.
We could have won or lost. The performance was good, we wanted to compete with Liverpool and we did with good spirit. We never lost confidence and we had opportunities.
CARLO ANCELOTTI , Everton manager, on his side’s performance.
The Premier League champions suffered a blow eight minutes later when van Dijk went down with a knee injury and had to be substituted after a reckless challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
There was no foul called as the Reds’ lead-up play to the incident was called out for offside.
Everton took advantage of the Dutchman’s absence when, from a corner, Michael Keane rose at the near post to power a header past Adrian.
Liverpool were on top for long stretches and Mohamed Salah restored their lead in the 72nd minute, pouncing on a headed clearance by Yerry Mina and drilling past Pickford for his 100th goal for the club.
But Everton, determined not to lose their unbeaten record, got back on level terms when James Rodriguez sent Lucas Digne down the left and his perfectly floated cross was headed home by the leaping Calvert-Lewin.
Everton’s Brazilian forward Richarlison was sent off in the 90th minute after a wild challenge on Thiago. Then came the VAR drama that left Klopp bemused.
The German, however, was pleased with his side’s display.
He said: “The performance was top, it was a top game and a good game for both teams. We were dominant against a side full of confidence and with a clear plan.
“It was probably the best away game since I was at Liverpool. I saw a really good performance. I would be more happy if we win.
“We played a really good game, we were superior and dominated it but we only get one point.”
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti felt that the match could have gone either way following the late drama.
“We could have won or lost,” he said. “The performance was good, we wanted to compete with Liverpool and we did with good spirit.
“We never lost confidence and we had opportunities. At the end, the performance was satisfactory.”
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE