VAR is ‘sucking the life out of the game’

Jurgen Klopp was mystified as to why Jordan Henderson’s late strike against Everton was ruled out by a VAR review for offside as a pulsating Merseyside derby ended 2-2.

Everton clung on to their unbeaten start to the season to remain three points clear at the top of the Premier League as a number of controversial calls went their way.

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Jordan Pickford was lucky to escape a red card early in the first-half for a dangerous lunge on Virgil van Dijk, which forced the Dutch captain off injured.

“There were a number of big moments in the game,” said Klopp. “The only situation I saw back is the Henderson goal and I didn’t see offside. The picture I saw is no offside, but it was offside because somebody decided it.”

Liverpool were smashed 7-2 by Aston Villa in their last game before the international break, but the English champions started like a side keen to make amends.

Mane missed the Villa Park mauling after testing positive for coronavirus and the Senegalese showed why he was badly missed with a smart finish from Andy Robertson’s cutback to open the scoring.

Pleased for @Everton naturally but blimey, VAR really does suck the life out of the game.

“The performance was the response. I wanted to see if we stay the team (from) before even after the knock we took,” added Klopp.

“The performance was top, you could see that was a top game, a good game from both teams. We were clearly dominant against a side that is full of confidence.

“It was probably the best away game since I am at Liverpool at Goodison. In the end it’s still a 2-2 for different reasons.”

The game swung when van Dijk was on the receiving end of a dangerous late lunge from Pickford inside the box.

However, no penalty was awarded on a VAR review because van Dijk had been marginally offside and Pickford also incredibly avoided a red card.

“Pickford kicks him completely out of the game,” fumed Klopp.

After the game Liverpool requested a review from the Premier League to provide answers on why the VAR failed to look at Pickford’s challenge on van Dijk.

Van Dijk later left hospital on crutches and in tears with fears his season may be over with a seven month spell on the sidelines for a reported ACL tear.

I'm sorry, but the fact that Pickford is allowed to stay on the pitch after a challenge like this, offside or not, is insane. It sets a precedent of being able to intentionally injure a player and get away with it – just because they're offside. pic.twitter.com/gpNIdarrdq

Van Dijk was taken out of the game.Source:AFP

Van Dijk’s towering presence was also missed at the other end and Carlo Ancelotti’s men made the most of that reprieve to level on 19 minutes when Michael Keane’s header from James Rodriguez’s corner had too much power for Adrian.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison missed big chances at the start of the second-half to give Everton the lead as their wait for a first win over Liverpool in 10 years goes on.

Those chances looked set to come back to haunt the Toffees as a moment of magic from Mohamed Salah put Liverpool back in front with his 100th goal for the club.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross was cut out by Yerry Mina but broke to the Egyptian on his left and he arrowed a shot into the far corner for his sixth goal in five league games.

Pickford kept Everton in the game with an incredible save from Joel Matip’s header and then to parry another pile-driver from Salah.

That proved crucial as Calvert-Lewin produced an incredible leap and header from Lucas Digne’s cross to level once more nine minutes from time with his 10th goal of the season.

“In terms of the bigger picture we got a point, we take it and we keep building,” said Calvert-Lewin. “We want to keep that unbeaten run going and building towards that bigger picture at the end of the season.”

Everton did finish the game down to 10 men as Richarlison was shown a straight red card for another dangerous lunge, this time on Thiago Alcantara.

Henderson thought he had won the game when Pickford failed to keep out his England teammate’s low shot in stoppage time.

However, the drama did not end there as VAR deemed Mane to be offside as he provided the cross despite television replays proving inconclusive.

“They bend the lines sometimes to make it offside,” bemoaned Henderson.

I mean, as ludicrous as it is I get the ones when a toe is offside. But he was level. Farcical. #EVELIV

Not sure how VAR came to the conclusion that Mané was offside today and how the video assistant never deemed Pickfords assault on Van Dijk to be a sending off. Cowardly challenge, very poor

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