Fabinho, Ibrahima Konate and Andy Robertson could all have been sent off at Brighton, depending on who you listen to. But what did Jurgen Klopp say?
The closing stages of Liverpool’s FA Cup clash with Brighton on Sunday were marked by a series of uncharacteristically late challenges.
In the Premier League this season, only Man City (19) have picked up fewer yellow cards than the Reds (21), while they saw the third-fewest in 2021/22, the second-fewest in 2016/17 and 2017/18, and the fewest in 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.
But at the AMEX, there were calls for each of Fabinho, Konate and Robertson to receive their marching orders – to varying degrees of conviction.
It is hard to argue that Fabinho‘s studs-up challenge on Evan Ferguson should not have warranted a red card.
But speaking in his post-match press conference, Klopp played down the already-booked Konate and Robertson’s collisions with Alexis Mac Allister.
? "I can't understand how the VAR referee can say that isn't a red… it's a terrible challenge! You can see from the player's reaction – he knows it's a red and he's just waiting to be sent off."
Fabinho was booked for this foul – should he have been sent off? pic.twitter.com/tqRjWMs5xl
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) January 29, 2023
“The Fabinho challenge, there’s no dynamic [movement] in it, but I just saw it once, not the second time,” he said.
“I think with dynamic, we can talk about the red card. But he was more lying [down] and then he hit him. It’s not cool.
“Ibou, I didn’t really see in the moment, and Robbo, it’s late in a game, it’s nothing to do with falling apart.”
Asked if his side let the momentum of the game get to them, Klopp said: “It’s frustration.
“It’s not right to do it, but against us teams constantly get yellow cards usually and nobody asks the opposition manager these questions.
“For us, we are not used that. We don’t usually concede yellow cards. But imagine the boys wouldn’t react [to the situation] at all.
“I don’t like it, I don’t think that’s the right way to do it and I have to look at it twice or maybe three times to judge it a little bit better, but in the end, I’m pretty sure your assessment, or what you made of it, is not right.
“That can still be your opinion, of course.”