Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp have expressed their anger at VAR making a ‘significant human error’ during Tottenham’s 2-1 home victory over Liverpool.
It was an eventful day at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Ange Postecoglou’s side emerged with all three points against nine-man Liverpool, who had both Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota sent off.
Jones was dismissed in the 26th minute when referee Simon Hooper upgraded the midfielder’s yellow card to red in a controversial decision that followed a VAR review.
Nine minutes later, Liverpool thought they had taken the lead when Mo Salah sent Luis Diaz through on goal and the winger finished confidently past Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario. But after a very quick VAR check, the opener was chalked off for offside.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was left fuming a few minutes later when James Maddison split his defence with a great pass and Richarlison proceeded to set up Son Heung-min for a simple finish.
The Reds did not let their heads go down though and Cody Gakpo equalised in first-half stoppage time, before going off injured himself.
Liverpool incredibly went down to nine men when Jota was handed a second yellow for a silly challenge on Destiny Udogie. Despite this, Liverpool were successful in frustrating their opponents, while also being helped by the brilliant Alisson in goal.
But it was Spurs who had the last laugh as Joel Matip slammed a Pedro Porro cross into his own net in the sixth minute of added time, handing the North London side the spoils.
PGMOL release statement admitting Liverpool ‘error’
But after the match, PGMOL admitted that a ‘significant human error’ had resulted in VAR failing to award Diaz’s goal. VAR had been guilty of a ‘clear and obvious factual error’.
PGMOL added that they will be ‘conducting a full review’ into the circumstances behind the mistake, as well as contacting Liverpool immediately.
But that will be little consolation for Klopp and Liverpool, who will be angry that the mistake cost them points.
Reacting to the statement live on Sky Sports (30/09 at 20:22), Neville said: “At the time – we get VAR up on the commentary box before anybody else does – I thought, ‘that’s onside’.
“All of a sudden they said, ‘check complete’. We were like, ‘what?’
“No lines, it was too quick. Something was obviously wrong.
“That is unbelievable. That is a bad one. They said [in the statement], ‘significant’. That is very significant.
“There was a couple in the last few weeks that I thought haven’t been right and I’ve been asking us [Sky], ‘have we got the right cameras at these stadiums?'”
Neville continued: “I’ve defended VAR and offside as being a matter of fact. But there’s been two or three in the last few weeks, where I’ve behind the scenes thought, ‘that doesn’t feel right, have they drawn the lines on?'”
Redknapp said: “That [statement] doesn’t make you feel any better as a Liverpool manager, how do you feel about that right now? Big moment in the game, opportunity to go 1-0 up. It’s a horrendous one.”