Jurgen Klopp slams VAR as Liverpool boss rues ‘turning point’ and calls Leicester ‘lucky’

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was not happy with the decision to allow Leicester’s equalising goal to stand after the Reds slumped to another Premier League defeat on Saturday. The Reds were 1-0 up but conceded three times in seven minutes late on in the second half as their miserable form in 2021 continued.

Mohamed Salah had fired the champions in front after 67 minutes but their lead was cancelled out less than 10 minutes later through James Maddison.

The England international’s low free-kick across the box was checked for offside but VAR adjudged Daniel Amartey to be in line with Roberto Firmino’s foot, allowing the goal to stand and clearing the Ghanaian of interference.

Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes then put the game beyond Liverpool with quick-fire strikes to seal a huge victory for Leicester, despite having not been at their best for the first 75 minutes of the match.

For Liverpool, defeat at the King Power Stadium means they have now lost three successive league games for the first time since November 2014 when they were managed by now Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers.

The Reds have only picked up eight points from their last 10 Premier League games and could end the weekend as low as joint-seventh with their hopes of Champions League football in real jeopardy.

But Klopp was frustrated post-match that Maddison’s goal was not ruled out and declared to BT Sport: “We conceded a goal, which is a really tough one to take. I know we discuss a lot about VAR but I think we all agree it was a turning point in the game.

“I saw it now a couple of times, the goal and the moment when they stop the situation where you look who is offside, who is not offside, he didn’t even touch the ball yet.

“So it means it’s still an individual decision of someone who makes it in the end, who is offside and who is not offside.

“That’s really hard because, for me, it looks like a clear offside in that moment because he has to touch the ball, that’s the moment when the offside is yes or no.

“When I saw it now, Bobby’s foot should be a little bit closer than whatever they throw in there. That was it, it was a turning point.”

Liverpool capitulated in remarkable fashion after the equaliser and Klopp added: “The second goal is a misunderstanding which we spoke about before, we said we need to get used to each other.

“We were used to each other until I don’t know when the goal happened, 75 minutes or so. It was a really, really good football game.

“They were one position ahead of us, maybe now more, I don’t know, but on the pitch that was not obvious.

“We were the clear dominant side. We played the football we wanted to play, we avoided their counter-attacks, we did pretty much everything we had to do.

“We scored a really nice goal, had more chances but that’s normal. We have to work harder in our situation to create more chances to get more goals.

“But the game was really good then you concede these two goals, and the third one obviously lose the ball too easy and one pass, they are done.

“That’s something I don’t like because we were obviously much too open in that moment. I told the boys already that’s not OK. But that’s the situation we are in.”

Liverpool’s confidence appears shot to pieces but they have also had to deal with an injury crisis almost unprecedented in the Premier League era.

They were without 10 players at Leicester with Fabinho the latest high-profile player to suffer another problem, meaning the Reds currently have none of the four senior centre-back options they started the season with.

In addition to the absences of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Fabinho, Divock Origi and January signing Ben Davies also missed out in the Midlands due to knocks.

“Tough times, no problem,” Klopp, who gave a debut to another January addition in Ozan Kabak, said. “The only thing we can do, you saw we tried everything, it’s not that we didn’t try.”

Kabak was involved in a mix-up with goalkeeper Alisson for Vardy’s goal that made it 2-1, with the Brazilian making another mistake after a horrendous couple of errors in the Anfield loss to Manchester City a week earlier.

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Klopp continued: “We were confident again, Ali was confident, he played a super game and made super saves and that’s all fine.

“But in that moment, maybe because of last week and who knows, he comes out, I didn’t hear him shouting and to be honest I’m not sure he said something or not.

“Ozan doesn’t not know in that moment, he doesn’t know him long enough, is he coming or is he not coming. That’s how it leads to the second goal and then that’s it.

“The turning point was the first goal, I have to say. It’s not OK it was a turning point in the game but in our situation not completely unlikely. That’s the point we take as criticism for ourselves, that it changed too much with that one goal.

“Even if the one goal was a really tricky one. I think it was not even a foul because Barnes jumps in that situation.

“But the free-kick they score the goal, no goal, yes, no and so on. We didn’t react well to that, I take that.

“Around that we really played top football in the end against a really strong side like Leicester.

“They were lucky to win today, they know that probably but in the end they finished the game, that’s fine, they deserved the three points. We know that but we have to deal with our own situations.”

Liverpool look to get back to winning ways against RB Leipzig in the Champions League in midweek and then host Everton in the Merseyside derby next Sunday.

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