“We were 100% they would overrule it” – Jurgen Klopp criticises “general problem” with VAR

Jurgen Klopp highlighted a “general problem” with VAR after Divock Origi was fouled in the buildup to Man United‘s opener in a 1-1 draw for Liverpool.

Origi was left on the turf after a kick from Victor Lindelof in United’s half, 35 minutes into the clash in Manchester, but Martin Atkinson opted to play on.

With the safety net of VAR beneath him, Atkinson then saw Marcus Rashford convert Daniel James’ cross before consulting the assistant in Stockley Park to decide whether it would stand.

Old Trafford erupted as ‘DECISION GOAL’ emerged on the scoreboard, but Liverpool were left furious as it was clear Origi had been impeded.

This came as no surprise, of course, as has been the case across the Premier League since the introduction of VAR at the start of the season—and this, not the goal, was the source of Klopp’s ire after the game.

Speaking in his post-match press conference he explained that he and his staff were “100 percent [sure] VAR would overrule it,” and elaborated further in an interview with Sky Sports.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 19, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts after Manchester United's opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“They scored a goal which shows, really, all the problems with VAR,” he said.

“Because Mr Atkinson, I’m sure, let the game run because he thinks ‘we have VAR’.

“And the VAR says ‘there was contact, it was a foul’, but when you saw it differently then it’s [overlooked]. It’s 100 percent like this, 100 percent.

“For me it was a clear foul, we take that, we cannot change that anymore. It’s just the situation, it’s a general problem.

“The VAR looks at it and says ‘oh, you decided it like this, that’s possible; because foul or no foul’. But it was a foul and they didn’t decide it.

“There were like 60, 70 yards to run until they scored the goal, it was of course not cool, then we scored a goal which was disallowed.

“Pretty much everything went against us today, and we still didn’t lose, so that’s OK.”

He added in his press conference: “For me it was so clear, I was 100 percent sure [so] I calmed the whole bench down.

“I was so surprised that I couldn’t even be angry afterwards.”

Also speaking to Sky Sports, Jordan Henderson was critical of Atkinson’s approach, not just surrounding United’s opener, but also his perceived bias towards the hosts.

“I think you know what the feeling was because you’ve seen all of our reactions when it went in, you probably know better than me because you’ve looked back at it,” he said of the goal.

“I just felt as though the referee gave a lot of those free-kicks to them, similar types of free-kick, in the first half.

“That one, for me, was very similar to the one he gave for Marcus early on and he didn’t give it for us.

“But we’ve got to defend better and it’s no excuse for us, the performance level wasn’t up there to our normal standard.

“So we’ve got accept, move on, learn from the game, take the positives, learn from the negatives and keep going, keep pushing.”