Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is particularly unhappy with the referees despite VAR working out in his favor twice in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage.
It’s not just Klopp who’s upset with the calls, either, as Fulham boss Scott Parker feels a bit aggrieved as well.
Let’s begin with the Liverpool boss, who touched on the match as well as an injury to Joel Matip ahead of a midweek visit from Tottenham.
Referee Andre Marriner went to the monitor on Sunday to deny a Fulham shout for an early penalty and the Video Assistant Referee upheld the ref’s decision to award a penalty for a handball by the leaping wall to allow Liverpool to equalize.
Klopp, however, wanted better from the refs for a foul in the box on Georginio Wijnaldum and a shove from Antonee Robinson on Mohamed Salah moments before Bobby Decordova-Reid lashed in the goal that made it 1-0 for the hosts at Craven Cottage.
“It’s a clear foul, not a yellow card or red card but a foul,” Klopp said. “The player who passed the ball and assists, the player who wins the ball, it’s a push. It gives an advantage, not about how hard the foul is in this case. … Not sure what Lee Mason is doing at home but it’s not normal contact. It’s enough contact to give an advantage.”
Robinson actually fed Ademola Lookman before the later set up Decordova-Reid, but the point remains the same.
Parker was asked about that play but said he didn’t see it.
“When VAR’s in the game it becomes a shouting match, ‘Let’s check this. Let’s check that.’ That’s the way the game is right now.”
He was, however, shocked that Fulham wasn’t awarded a penalty when Ivan Cavaleiro and Fabinho came together in the box.
Super slowed-down replay appears to show Fabinho getting the ball an instant before Cavaleiro’s plant foot is swept out by the tackle.
Parker didn’t see it that way.
“In real time I didn’t think it was going to be checked but it would be a corner,” Parker said. “What amazes me is they go over to the screen and Fabinho has kicked Cavaleiro’s leg and the ball went out of play. If we didn’t have VAR I wouldn’t say anything about this. To look at the screen and still not give a penalty, for me this is not one we should discuss. This is not subjective. It’s a clear penalty. It is what it is and I don’t want to detract from the performance the boys put in tonight.”
Back to the Reds, whose 25 points are level with Tottenham ahead of a Wednesday visit from Spurs.
Klopp was happy with the team’s fight back after what he deems a poor-half hour. Fulham had four of the match’s five shots on target in the first half and could’ve been up by more than 1-0.
But he’s also not one to prop up his players for doing their jobs.
“I expected a reaction so I’m not going to say ‘Thank you for reacting after 30 minutes,'” Klopp said. “We cannot say it’s normal, that can happen, let’s carry on like this. The boys stepped up and we could’ve won. Good atmosphere to be honest.”
Klopp said Joel Matip suffered back spasms before coming off at halftime for Takumi Minamino. The Cameroon international center back’s status doesn’t appear to be dire but is in question for Spurs.
“I hope Joel will be fine but I don’t know.”