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October 18, 2020

Klopp left confused as VAR call denies Liverpool win


October 18, 2020

LIVERPOOL: Jurgen Klopp was mystified as to why Jordan Henderson’s late strike against Everton was ruled out by a VAR review for offside as a pulsating Merseyside derby ended 2-2 on Saturday.

Everton clung on to their unbeaten start to the season to remain three points clear at the top of the Premier League as a number of controversial calls went their way.

Jordan Pickford was lucky to escape a red card early in the first-half for a dangerous lunge on Virgil Van Dijk, which forced the Dutch captain off injured.

“There were a number of big moments in the game,” said Klopp. “The only situation I saw back is the Henderson goal and I didn’t see offside. The picture I saw is no offside, but it was offside because somebody decided it.”

Liverpool were smashed 7-2 by Aston Villa in their last game before the international break, but the English champions started like a side keen to make amends.

Mane missed the Villa Park mauling after testing positive for coronavirus and the Senegalese showed why he was badly missed with a smart finish from Andy Robertson’s cut-back to open the scoring.

“The performance was the response. I wanted to see if we stay the team (from) before even after the knock we took,” added Klopp.

“The performance was top, you could see that was a top game, a good game from both teams. We were clearly dominant against a side that is full of confidence.

“It was probably the best away game since I am at Liverpool at Goodison. In the end it’s still a 2-2 for different reasons.”

The game swung when Van Dijk was on the receiving end of a dangerous late lunge from Pickford inside the box.

However, no penalty was awarded on a VAR review because Van Dijk had been marginally offside and Pickford also incredibly avoided a red card.

“Pickford kicks him completely out of the game,” fumed Klopp.

Van Dijk’s towering presence was also missed at the other end and Carlo Ancelotti’s men made the most of that reprieve to level on 19 minutes when Michael Keane’s header from James Rodriguez’s corner had too much power for Adrian.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison missed big chances at the start of the second-half to give Everton the lead as their wait for a first win over Liverpool in 10 years goes on.

Those chances looked set to come back to haunt the Toffees as a moment of magic from Mohamed Salah put Liverpool back in front with his 100th goal for the club.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross was cut out by Yerry Mina but broke to the Egyptian on his left and he arrowed a shot into the far corner for his sixth goal in five league games.

Pickford kept Everton in the game with an incredible save from Joel Matip’s header and then to parry another piledriver from Salah.

That proved crucial as Calvert-Lewin produced an incredible leap and header from Lucas Digne’s cross to level once more nine minutes from time with his 10th goal of the season.

Sloppy Chelsea punished

Chelsea paid the price for woeful defending as Jannik Vestergaard snatched a stoppage-time equaliser for Southampton in their dramatic 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Germany forward Timo Werner scored his first Premier League goals to put Chelsea two up in the first half.

But Danny Ings got one back for Southampton before mistakes from Kurt Zouma and Kepa Arrizabalaga gifted an equaliser to Che Adams in the second half.

Kai Havertz appeared to have spared his team-mates’ blushes when the Germany midfielder restored Chelsea’s lead.

But Frank Lampard’s side were denied when Southampton defender Vestergaard headed home in the closing moments.

Chelsea have just two wins from five league games and have already conceded nine goals.

Lampard will be encouraged to see Werner score for the first time in the league in his fifth appearance in the competition since his £45 million ($58 million) move from Leipzig.

The 24-year-old, who scored against Tottenham in the League Cup in September, was a constant threat to Southampton’s defence.