Jurgen Klopp took aim at VAR – and admitted he regretted celebrating towards the linesman after a controversial opener in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
Liverpool fell behind to Callum Wilson’s ninth-minute opener at Anfield but were incensed the goal was allowed to stand even after a VAR review for what appeared a blatant push on Joe Gomez in the build-up.
The hosts would go on to recover before the break through goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, to put a week including back-to-back defeats behind them and move within three wins of the title, but Klopp’s frustration was plain to see as he celebrated towards the linesman in front of his dugout when Mane completed the hosts’ turnaround.
Admitting some regret at his enthusiastic reaction towards the officials, Klopp said: “I was in good spirits, let me say it like this.
“To be honest, that happened [the celebration]. I didn’t want it, do I want to do it now? No. But in that moment, I just don’t understand how it could be a goal.
“There’s situations, we talk about it, but we have to make the decision. It shows the problems in VAR still existing. It’s not VAR, the system, it’s a human being and the rules. It was a foul. The touch was enough to let Joe struggle, it’s a foul, nothing else.
“They score a goal, the ref lets it run, that’s why we have VAR so you can have another look. A couple of weeks ago VAR made really tough decisions on one matchday, two different games, Tottenham and City, right, wow. How is that possible that someone sits there and doesn’t see it?
“The question is how is it possible you have a look at it and don’t say, ‘ah yes, that’s a foul’. Mike Dean [fourth official] I’m sure sees it’s a foul but cannot intervene any more so he says let’s go to VAR, and it hides behind the phrase ‘not clear and obvious’. It makes no sense, a foul is a foul, no foul is no foul, but if it’s that clear, you look at it and say come on.
“No one felt confident after that, not the referee, no one. It was easy to sort with someone sitting in a room who says yes, come on, foul. I understand 100 per cent Bournemouth may see it differently, but it’s a clear foul.
“I was absolutely happy about the result, the three points and the performance because I knew it would be tricky for different reasons.
“I think the decisions of the ref around the goals made it even more tricky for us, obviously.
“We wanted to fight back before the game and after that we had to fight back. How we played after being 1-0 down was exceptional, to be honest.
“I don’t want to make it too big but in a moment when you have to fight back for the momentum and then you get a decision like that and a goal like this, there are other teams in the history of football which would then slip.
“The boys’ reaction today, I loved – I really loved.”