Liverpool vs Chelsea FC: Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel agree Reece James red card ‘spoiled’ contest

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel both felt the decision to send off Reece James was a harsh one, and ultimately spoiled Liverpool’s draw with Chelsea as a contest.

A captivating end-to-end first half was followed by one-way traffic after the break in Saturday evening’s Premier League clash at Anfield.

Kai Havertz opened the scoring with a superb looping header, but Mohamed Salah levelled with a penalty during a dramatic end to the opening period.

Anthony Taylor sent off Chelsea full-back James for handling a Sadio Mane shot during a penalty-box melee after reviewing the footage on the advice of the video assistant referee.

The Blues were furious with the decision but channelled it in a positive fashion as Tuchel’s men dug deep to secure a 1-1 draw.

Tuchel was delighted his defence stood firm following James’ dismissal, but believes Taylor was too hasty when he viewed the pitchside monitor and feels the game was ruined as a spectacle as a result.

"I don't like these early red cards of course - not at Liverpool when we play but in general," Tuchel said.

"For me it's a bit the spoiler of the game. Nobody I think wants to see that for 45 minutes, they want to see a high-level game and even me when I'm watching on TV, I don't like it.

"I have no solution now for it and no better idea in the moment but in general it is a spoiler.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"The situation itself, I can understand the decision and I'm not saying it's a wrong decision but I did not like the way the referee checked it because for me he checked only the image."

Tuchel added: "I would have wished for a longer consideration, a longer thought and a better view on the whole situation.

"Maybe [Taylor] would have taken the same. I think it stays a grey situation and he could have maybe taken the same decision and we have to live with it."

While Klopp felt it was a clear handball, he agreed with Tuchel over James’ exit and felt the double punishment of a red card as well as a penalty had spoilt the game.

“I never liked double punishment but if somebody ever listened to me about rule changes or rules, a lot of things would look completely different,” said Klopp.

“It was absolutely harsh. Spoils the game? Yeah probably. It changed everything, I liked our first half, we were really good, caused Chelsea a lot of problems. It was an incredible intense game from Chelsea as well.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“I would have loved to have seen the game in an 11 v 11 situation and see who comes through better but it’s the way it is.”

Additional reporting by PA and Reuters.

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