LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota is shown a red card and sent off by referee Simon Hooper during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool: Two sent off as disgraceful refereeing costs Reds

A match that will live long in the memory for the absolutely disgraceful refereeing decisions that saw Liverpool have two men sent off and a goal controversially disallowed.

Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool

Premier League (7), Tottenham Stadium
September 30, 2023


Son 36′
Gakpo 45+4′ (assist: Van Dijk)
Matip 90+6′ (OG)

Sent off: Jones (26′), Jota 69′

Darwin Nunez dropped to the bench, the striker struggling with an ongoing slight knee issue. Cody Gakpo started as the No.9 instead.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was back in the squad, but only fit for the bench, while Joel Matip was named ahead of Ibrahima Konate at the back.

With Man City having lost earlier in the afternoon, Liverpool had the opportunity to go top of the league but were denied by some abysmal refereeing decisions throughout.

The Reds started brightly and should have taken the lead in the 12th minute. Dominik Szoboszlai switched the play beautifully to Luis Diaz, but his cross wasn’t finished by Gakpo and Spurs keeper Vicario made a superb double save to deny Andy Robertson on the follow up.

It was a game of high quality, two teams in good form going at each other early on. Richarlison’s cross was almost turned in at the other end.

There was another big chance for Liverpool soon after, again created by Szoboszlai; Curtis Jones‘ shot was blocked for a corner.

But the game turned midway through the half with a highly controversial decision as referee Simon Hooper dismissed Curtis Jones after a VAR review.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones reacts after first being shown a yellow card before it's changed to a red card and sent off during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The ref had originally given a yellow, but having been shown an out of context still image on the monitor, upgraded it to a red for what was a very debatable decision.

Liverpool, though, had the ball in the net soon after, with a superb finish from Diaz – but that was ruled offside in quick fashion, despite it looking very, very close. Funny that.

Tottenham went down the other end and scored through Son Heung-Min.

Liverpool could be forgiven for thinking that matter what they did, they wouldn’t be able to win this one.

Right on the stroke of half time, though, the Reds levelled. It was another beautiful cross from Szoboszlai, which Van Dijk headed back across goal and Gakpo finished on the turn.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo goes down injured after scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It should have been 2-1 to the Reds before the break. Salah played a superb ball for Diaz but he couldn’t quite get enough contact on it.

Half time: Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool

  • Jones sent off after VAR review
  • Diaz goal disallowed but didn’t look offside
  • Jota sent off – first booking was no contact
  • Gakpo with Liverpool’s goal

Gakpo injured himself in scoring and was subbed for Diogo Jota at half time – the Portuguese would be on the pitch for only 24 minutes.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports said that they hadn’t been provided with an image of the offside lines for Diaz’s disallowed goal in the first half. Did someone say corruption?

Two superb stops from Alisson kept the score level at the start of the half as Spurs’ extra man started to show.

Then it got worse. Jota was first booked when a Spurs player, Udogie, tripped himself up, then within a minute was booked for a second time, leaving Liverpool with nine men for the final 20 minutes.

Liverpool were superb. Klopp made five subs, played a back five and restricted Spurs.

But there was a killer blow in the final seconds of stoppage time as Joel Matip turned a Spurs cross into his own net.

An absolutely crushing moment after an incredible team performance.

UPDATE: PGMOL release statement admitting “significant human error”

TIA Man of the Match: Dominik Szoboszlai

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance: 62,001

Tottenham: Vicario; Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Udogie; Sarr, Bissouma; Kulusevski, Maddison, Son; Richarlison

Subs: Forster, Royal, Phillips, Davies, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Solomon, Veliz, Donley

Liverpool: Alisson; Gomez (Alexander-Arnold 73′), Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister (Gravenberch 80′), Szoboszlai, Jones; Salah (Endo 73′), Gakpo (Jota 46′), Diaz (Konate 73′)

Subs not used: Kelleher, Tsimikas, Elliott, Nunez

Next Match: Union SG – Europa League (home, Thursday 5 October)