Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the process of VAR is failing referees and therefore the teams involved after admitting his total surprise that Marcus Rashford’s goal was allowed to stand.
The Reds boss said he was so surprised the review did not rule out Manchester United’s first-half goal from Rashford for an earlier foul on Divock Origi that he could not even be angry.
Adam Lallana eventually scored five minutes from time in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford but Klopp was still bemused by the advice given to official Martin Atkinson.
“I calmed everyone down because I knew immediately. They scored the goal and Mr Atkinson immediately signalled VAR,” he said.
“My coaches were already on their toes but I was 100 per cent sure VAR would overrule it but then we have the problem.
“The ref let the game run because he has VAR but then VAR says it was not clear, so he could say it was not a foul so don’t overrule it.
“This does not make sense. It is a clear VAR issue with how we deal with it in the moment.
“I was so surprised afterwards, I couldn’t be angry.”
Klopp echoed a criticism which has been aired many times already this season in that the high bar which the Premier League has set means no-one at VAR headquarters is prepared to overrule match officials and say they got big decisions wrong.
“I’m sure Mr Atkinson, if there was not VAR involved, would have whistled (for a foul) but he let it go because someone else could make the decision but someone else is not making the decision,” added the German, who also saw a Sadio Mane goal ruled out for handball by VAR which he had no issue with.
“Like the penalty Man City didn’t get (on Saturday)… Come on, it was 100 per cent penalty, nothing else, but VAR was not clear enough to say ‘overrule it’.
“We need to discuss it in general, how the process works is important. I think it is good, VAR. The only way it really works is handball and offside.
“But the process where the ref makes a decision because they have VAR but then VAR says ‘No, that’s fine’, that doesn’t work.
“On the pitch the referee decides to let it run because we have VAR, but it is not overruled because it is not ‘obvious’, that makes no sense.”