Liverpool judgement – Jurgen Klopp raved further, after VAR costs the red ones more than Derby-Prahlerrechte.


Somehow, after seeing his Liverpool players in Villa Park impressively overcome the club’s biggest defeat in 57 years, Klopp shuffled back across Stanley Park, his mind darker than when he left Birmingham almost two weeks ago.

Jurgen Klopp admitted that he was in a bad mood, and the frowning look did not betray that as he left Goodison Park foaming.

Liverpool must question the VAR after Jordan Pickford got away with a shocking tackle against Virgil van Dijk, before Jordan Henderson’s later winner is thrown out of the race by a controversial offside kick.

But these proud Derby celebrities will have a hollow ring when the fans settle down for their Saturday night outing after VAR conspired against them twice.

Klopp extends his record in this game to a dozen games without defeat, and in total the Reds are undefeated in 23 games since the last setback ten years ago.

The reason for this was, of course, that his Premier League champions – and we don’t want to conceal this here – were robbed in the home country of his local opponent when two mysterious, game-decisive decisions on both sides of the match went the way of the hosts Everton.

The English goalkeeper’s terrible tackle on Virgil van Dijk was enough to force the Dutch captain out of the game and be replaced by Joe Gomez within 15 minutes.

The first bone of contention came after Sadio Mane had put Liverpool ahead early. The guests had their tails up and pushed for a second before Jordan Pickford’s shocking intervention.

The Blues goalkeeper will count his lucky stars that he did not get a red card, and the fact that he went unpunished just for an offside flag sets a dangerous precedent for further development in the premier league.

Few things have unsettled Van Dijk since he moved to Merseyside almost three years ago, but he was fortunate to still be able to walk after Pickford’s reckless tee shot.

Do harmful and dangerous lunges now go unnoticed because the flag is raised at the same stage of the game? The message on this evidence is: Yes, they do.

Decisions such as these – and the much-discussed rules for handballs in the penalty area – continue to place an excessive strain on the coverage of the game in all media.

And while the appeals of the officials can sometimes be overly dissected because of the need to point out the misconduct of a referee, it was difficult for the layman to figure out how Pickford escaped censorship here.

VAR, the brooding presence that hangs over all the top football was nowhere to be found, as Van Dijk made off and Pickford continued to stay in goal.

It was the first time in 75 games that Liverpool had ever played a minute without the 75 million pound Van Dijk in the back and it took them some time to get their rhythm back.

Liverpool finally came back down to earth and looked threatening on the left side with a marauding Andy Robertson and a menacing mane. A few times the visitors on the left could feel some joy before the scorer made up a golden opportunity with a side blow.

The sight of their talismatic central defender being forced off the pitch seemed to have the adverse effect Everton would have wished for. The Reds retreated and put pressure on Michael Keane to equalize from a corner.


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