Brighton 1-1 Liverpool: VAR goes against Reds as Jota strikes again

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VAR ruled against Liverpool three times, leaving the Reds to share the points against Brighton in the Premier League.

Brighton 1-1 Liverpool

Premier League (10), Amex Stadium
November 28, 2020

Goal

Jota 60′ (assist: Firmino)
Gross 90+3 (pen)


The nature of this season means there will be a lot of games like this one, where players are clearly tired and ridiculous referee decisions are made.

A first league start of the season for Takumi Minamino saw the Japanese international line up in midfield, while at the back there was an 11th different centre-back pairing of the season (in 16 games), with Nat Phillips alongside Fabinho.

Liverpool were given a huge let-off twice in the first half, first when Aaron Connolly missed a very good chance on 10 minutes, then when Neil Maupay missed the target from e penalty on 20 minutes.

Maupay put his spot-kick wide after Neco Williams had given away a penalty with a really poor challenge.

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 28, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool were far from fluid or impressive and Brighton were the better side, but the Reds thought they’d taken the lead when Roberto Firmino played in Mo Salah and he finished – only for VAR to rule the goal out on a very marginal offside decision.

Liverpool’s two chances of the first half were both from balls over the top for Salah, an early one from Fabinho and that from Firmino.

Half time: Brighton 0-0 Liverpool

Half time saw Jordan Henderson replace the struggling Williams, with James Milner moving to right-back – a very obvious and needed change.

Henderson’s presence saw Liverpool looking far more dominant, especially in midfield. Minamino also appeared to playing higher up.

The deadlock was finally broken on the hour when Diogo Jota danced into the box and finished a nice dribble with a good finish into the corner for his fifth league goal of the season.

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 28, 2020: Liverpool's Diogo Jota scores the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

  • Liverpool have 2 goals ruled out by VAR for offside
  • Milner hamstring injury adds to Reds’ list
  • Jota continues scoring form
  • Reds move clear at top of the league

Klopp subbed Salah shortly after, replacing him with Sadio Mane, and the Egyptian was not happy, leaving the pitch without even a handshake with the boss.

The next sub was needed when James Milner went down with a hamstring injury, the 34-year-old having started all three games in a week so a muscle injury was far from a surprise.

There was another goal ruled out by VAR when Mane headed home Andy Robertson‘s free-kick, but this time it was less marginal.

But there was a sting in the tail in stoppage time when VAR advised referee Stuart Atwell to watch a replay of an Andy Robertson challenge on Danny Welbeck and Atwell awarded a spot-kick, which Pascal Gross dispatched past Alisson.

The Premier League had said that there was a “high bar” for VAR intervention, but that seems to have been lowered.

An awful game for so many reasons which Jurgen Klopp will just be glad to get out of the way.

Liverpool move top of the Premier League, at least temporarily.


TIA Man of the Match: Gini Wijnaldum

Referee: Stuart Atwell

Attendance: Behind closed doors

Brighton: Ryan; White, Webster, Dunk, Connolly (Lallana 63′ (forJahanbakhshat 71′)), Bissouma, Maupay (Trossard 26′), Gross, Welbeck, March, Veltman

Subs not used: Steele, Alzate, Burn, Molumby

Liverpool: Alisson; N. Williams (Henderson 45′), Fabinho, Phillips, Robertson; Milner (Jones 74′), Wijnaldum; Minamino, Salah (Mane 64′), Jota, Firmino

Subs not used: Adrian, R. Williams, Tsimikas, Origi

Next Match: Ajax (H) – Tues, December 1 (8pm)

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