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- German association football player and manager
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his side’s 2-2 draw at Tottenham could have turned out differently if VAR calls had gone their way.
The Reds, who reported four cases of coronavirus before the game, were on course for three points in north London after goals from Diogo Jota and Andy Robertson helped them overturn Harry Kane’s early opener.
But Son Heung-min took advantage of Alisson Becker’s howler to earn Spurs a worthy point, but the game was packed with VAR drama.
Kane could easily have seen red for a first-half challenge on Robertson but his yellow card was not upgraded, unlike when the Scot hacked down Emerson Royal in the second half.
Liverpool felt they should have had a penalty in the first half when Jota was bundled over, while Spurs felt Dele Alli should have won a penalty and that Mohamed Salah handled in the build-up to the Reds’ second goal.
Klopp, who was booked by referee Paul Tierney, was not impressed. He said: “The game would have been different with two key decisions in the first half.
“Let’s start with Robbo, we saw it back and yes you can give a red card there.
“It’s not the harshest ever but it is not the smartest as well, he knows that, he is a really good boy but he lost it a little bit.
Jürgen Klopp declared himself ‘fine with the result’ following this evening's draw at @SpursOfficial.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 19, 2021
“This red card you can give, but this is the proof that the VAR was there today because before that we thought he might not be in his office because of the two other situations.
“I think we all agree Harry Kane should have seen a red card and he didn’t. The penalty situation Mr Tierney told me he thought Diogo Jota stopped on purpose and wanted to get hit and if you watch back that is a very exclusive view.
“It was a very quick decision, he saw it. I am not sure he was prepared for it, how can he react that quick?
“It is a clear penalty but he thought it was a clear no penalty. Wow. That is two wrong decisions from him and one right, all three against us.”
On why Kane’s challenge was not reviewed, the German added: “I have no idea, you have to ask VAR.
“That is a clear, absolutely 100 per cent red card. This situation, if Andy Robertson’s leg is still on the ground his leg is broken. We all agree on that. It is still a red card but the ref saw it differently.”
It was Spurs’ best performance under boss Antonio Conte and had they taken their chances they might have won.
Conte was keen to keep his counsel on Tierney’s decisions.
“Honestly, and I said this also to TV, I haven’t seen the Robertson situation or the Harry Kane situation, and I haven’t seen the possibility of the penalties,” the Italian said.
"Good effort. Good commitment."
The boss has his say ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/bVM5Q879xQ
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 19, 2021
“My staff said to me the second [Liverpool] goal was a clear handball. Clear, a clear handball.
“I think it’s not right to comment on refereeing decisions after the game. I don’t know if Jurgen wanted to comment on this but I can tell you my staff said to me that it was incredible to give the second goal and not to disallow it because there was a clear handball from Salah.
“But it was an exciting game with great emotions for the people who saw it and I don’t like that we have to speak about refereeing decisions at the end. I think that’s not good for anyone.”