LONDON – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp criticised the video assistant referee (VAR) system after his team’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Sunday, saying the way the technology is being used in England does not make “too much sense”.
Klopp was aggrieved Liverpool were not awarded a free-kick for a “clear foul” on Divock Origi in the build-up to United’s first-half goal after watching his side drop points in the league for the first time this season.
Premier League rules governing VAR allow the video assistant to overturn a referee’s decision only in the case of a clear and obvious error.
“This is a problem we have to discuss,” the Liverpool boss told reporters. “I was 100% sure VAR would overrule (United’s goal).
“The referee let the game run because he has VAR, but the VAR says then it was not clear… This makes not too much sense. It is a clear VAR issue in how we deal with it in the moment.
“I’m not angry or whatever. I am sure (referee) Martin Atkinson would have whistled if there was no VAR but he let it go.”
Marcus Rashford opening the scoring for United, who were pegged back by Liverpool substitute Adam Lallana’s equaliser about five minutes from time.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer disagreed with Klopp’s assessment of the Origi incident and praised the referee for letting the game flow.
“No chance – we’re not playing basketball. It’s never a foul,” Solskjaer said. “I think the referee did well. He let it become a proper football game with tackles. He wasn’t one of those tippy-tappy, stop-the-game referees.”
Despite the draw, Liverpool still lead second-placed Manchester City by six points, while United are 13th in the table.