It was not surprising in the slightest to see the first question in Klopp’s press conference on Thursday to not be about the visit of Union SG, but the events of Saturday.
What was surprising, however, was the manager’s statement that he wants the match to be replayed as the solution to what unfolded.
The PA news agency report that the Premier League’s stance remains the same and a replay would not be considered, but here is Klopp’s argument for why it ought to be given thought to.
Now you’ve listened to the audio, how is everyone feeling?
“The audio didn’t change it at all, I wasn’t interested really in why things happen because I knew, I saw the outcome, I saw goal – we scored and it didn’t count.”
“I wasn’t waiting for the audio and then sitting there hoping I could find out how it could happen or whatever.
“What I want to say is, it’s really important, as big and important as football is, for us at least, that we really deal with it in a proper way.
“I mean, that all of the people involved, on-field ref, linesman, fourth official and especially now in this case VAR, they did not do that on purpose.
“We should not forget that. Yes, it was a mistake, an obvious mistake, and I think there would have been solutions for it afterwards.
“I can say immediately, and probably some people don’t want me to say it, not as a manager of Liverpool so much, more as a football person, I think the only outcome should be a replay.
“That’s how it is. Probably will not happen.
“The argument against that, will probably be if we open that gate, then everybody will ask for it.
“I think the situation is that unprecedented that, it didn’t happen before, I’m 56 years old and since 50 years in football and I am absolutely used to, don’t always deal well with it, but I’m used to wrong decisions, difficult decisions.
“But something like that, as far as I can remember, never happened. That’s why I think a replay would be the right thing.
“Against the argument it would be, if it happened again I think a replay would be the right thing to do.
“Or, the ref has the opportunity to bring both coaches together and say, ‘We made a mistake, but we can sort it. Let Liverpool score a goal and we start from there’.
“In this specific game, what makes it a bit more special is that we conceded two minutes after we scored a regular goal.
“And how all things depend on each other, if the goal would’ve counted we would’ve started the game in the centre of the pitch and not where it started. It would’ve been different.
“That’s one thing and that’s my view on it. I’m not angry with any of them. Not at all.
“I really think it should, it’s not only respect, but the only thing for human beings in general is you should not go for them [the officials].
“It is not allowed to go for them, in no way, they made a mistake and they felt horrible that night, I’m 100 percent sure. And that’s enough for me, no one needs further punishment.
“We should just discuss it on a completely normal basis without emotions. I’m not angry, I could discuss it, but it’s not my job. I’m here to prepare a game that is super important.
“I understand you ask the question and you want to have answers for that, what I thought, what made this day really difficult for us is all the other decisions.”
Should managers and players be asked about how to improve VAR?
“Discussing these things in public, I told you a couple of times, the world is not ready for that.
“If I now say, yes would be cool if managers [put it] out there on the table, we have enough opportunities to talk to the refs.
“The refs want to do it right, believe me. We speak since ages that the wording ‘clear and obvious’ is not the right wording, it just about right or wrong.
“It’s a massive institution, IFAB and all these kind of things, at the end, believe me or not, they all want to put it right and I believe in that.
“These things should not happen, other mistakes shouldn’t happen, but they happened. That’s fine, learn from it.
“Find the solution for how to deal with it. The solution, for me, is not only about improving the process, because now all the time that it took so long to find a decision, and everybody in the stadium was like, ‘ugh, what are they waiting for’.
“We rush them and told them we need the decisions quicker, now we have a quick decision but it is a wrong decision. Or the decision was right but the communication…
“Things need as much time as they need. Is it fantastic we celebrated a goal for a second and then we wait five minutes to understand if we can really celebrate or not?”
Replay desire is not just because it is Liverpool…
“It’s a heated conversation about people and there is a solution for it, and I really think it is a solution.”
“In a game, and it’s not because we are involved, in a situation like this, real massive mistake of all people involved then correct it in that moment.
“Obviously, the decisive people in that moment thought that’s not what they can do. Fine, then let’s do a replay.
“And if it happened next time, give them the chance to do it like this and we don’t have that problem anymore.”
Impractical to replay and every team would want the same?
“I have to accept everything. It is just that unprecedented that the parts of the referee team said ‘goal’.
“That’s really rare and does not show up on a screen, on the scoresheet and the game continues with a free-kick. That makes it really different, I think.
“It’s about what is the possible outcome. Again, we, in our position, it is completely normal that we have to accept what we get told so we can be as angry, or not.
“We have to accept what we get told. So if we say something about referees which is not helpful but out of emotion, not a general opinion, it’s just, ‘cannot do that’ and [a] fine.
“That’s the world, the planet we are living on. I’m not interested in that, if I say something which is not right, they fine me, I pay it and it is good.
“I’m interested in how can we improve the things and if the only solution for a problem like this, it will not happen next week, definitely not.
“Nobody wants to make these kinds of mistakes and wants to be in the middle of all the attention for all the wrong reasons. We have to talk about it really calm, what could be the possible outcome?
“If that would happen again, I would say replay. Fine. We play it again.
“Or, much better than a replay, sort it in that moment. Just with common sense.
“Then you don’t have that problem anymore. Maybe it happens in 10 years again, and then they can say, ‘yes, last time we had to organise a replay, now we can do it like that. What a wonderful solution’.
“That would be a big improvement, but we will see.”
On Liverpool’s statement of exploring options and escalation…
“My English is not good enough, honestly. For me, it was a completely normal statement, I heard that some people thought it was aggressive.
“Of course we speak [with the Premier League]. But we have other people at the club who put that together and then the club goes for it, does the things we think we need to do.
“The word escalation didn’t come from me. I don’t exactly know what it means. I know what it means but I wouldn’t have put it in a letter.
Is the club now going to formally ask for replay?
With advice from the press officer, he replied: “At this stage, we’re still going through the information that we have. Sorry.”
This is unprecedented, thus needs an unprecedented solution…
“From my point of view, it’s just like this. If you face a situation for the first time, you try to understand it, why it happened. You figure it out and then you work on solutions.
“I know everybody is doing that but that doesn’t solve the actual problems because points are at stake. How could it we sort it for the future but still that situation.
“That’s just how I understand it. You try it, you have to try to sort the situation. That’s why, for me, a replay would be the right decision.
“If that happens or not, it’s not even close to my hands and I don’t care, it’s just my opinion. And then, of course, how the ref said, the process will be better.
“It’s good, of course, that’s very good and that would be a very good outcome. But it doesn’t change the something that already happened and what is the solution for that, by the way.
“I think just us saying, ‘yep, got it. There was a penalty situation not given for us in the past and we didn’t get a replay that’s why we cannot do that’.
“It’s a completely different situation. That goal [Diaz’s] was scored, was legal. Fact. And, in the end, it didn’t count. That makes no sense.”