Klopp in ‘club badges’ jibe after tight VAR call; no sympathy for angry Salah

Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said that he has become used to “club badges” being used by VAR to decide tight offside calls, after his side suffered against Brighton.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both had goals ruled out in Saturday’s 1-1 draw on the south coast. But while Mane was clearly offside in the second half, the call on Salah was much tighter.

Indeed, the linesman originally missed the decision, but replays showed his foot was past the last line.

Speaking after the match at the Amex Stadium, Klopp refused to comment at length about the incidents through fear of making headlines again.

“I think the two offsides, I didn’t see them but I asked my analysts and they said yeah,” the manager said. “It was really close with Mo but we are used to armpits and club badges, so if it’s a toe it’s obviously offside.

“With Sadio it was clear I heard. The penalty, it’s how it is. I think the decisions were right.”

The German then said when asked for a more detailed response: “You try to create again on my cost with a headline. That’s how it is because if I say now ‘No, it was not’… the referee whistled it. You try always, all the time.

“Today I say it was not a penalty and you are not happy with that answer. So what do you want to hear? I said it was a penalty because the ref whistled it after watching it.”

Elsewhere, Klopp hailed the “exceptional” performance from Nathaniel Phillips, who was covering for the rested Joel Matip in defence.

Nathaniel Phillips

“Very good, I couldn’t be more proud of the boys what they put out here today,” he said of his side’s play. “We said before the game what a possession team Brighton is, I could see that the boys played like the we had to play.

“In the first half an hour we struggled a bit with our last line, with their balls in behind because we didn’t drop in the right moment. We got that sorted in the first half.

“The second half we had no problems with that but the second half we had some problems with energy. The situations we had around the goals were brilliant. Mo scored a brilliant goal, Sadio’s header was outstanding and the goal Diogo scored was really cool.”

No sympathy for angry Salah

Mohamed Salah

Klopp brought Salah off midway through the second half, much to the 28-year-old’s anger. But his manager insisted that it was the right decision given his recent circumstances.

“If Mo is smiling when he leaves the pitch then something’s wrong,” Klopp said.

“I get it 100 per cent, the problem is he had Covid, was out for 10 to 12 days, trained once, played 60 minutes, three days later plays again.

“So we have to be careful. He doesn’t like that but that’s it.”

Klopp also confirmed that James Milner had suffered a hamstring injury, but did not offer details of its severity.

Liverpool return to action on Tuesday when Ajax visit Anfield in a crunch Champions League clash.