Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is the latest critic of the VAR system after claiming referees are changing the way they approach the game because of it.
The German believes officials are letting play go on even when they think there may have been an infringement as they are expecting to be corrected by the technology.
Klopp was venting his frustration after the 1-1 draw at Manchester United which ended their 17-match winning run in the Premier League after Marcus Rashford’s opening goal was allowed to stand despite him claiming Divock Origi was fouled 70 yards up the pitch in the build-up.
“I’m sure Mr (Martin) Atkinson, if there was not VAR involved, would have whistled (for a foul) but he let it go because someone else could make the decision – but someone else is not making the decision,” said the Liverpool boss, who had no issue with Sadio Mane’s first-half goal being ruled out by VAR for handball before substitute Adam Lallana snatched a late equaliser.
“Like the penalty Man City didn’t get (against Crystal Palace on Saturday)… Come on, it was 100 per cent a penalty, nothing else, But VAR was not clear enough to say ‘overrule it’.
“We need to discuss it in general, because how the process works is important. I think it is good, VAR. The only way it really works is handball and offside.
“But the process where the ref makes a decision because they have VAR but then VAR says ‘No, that’s fine’, that doesn’t work.
“On the pitch the referee decides to let it run because we have VAR, but it is not overruled because it is not ‘obvious’… that makes no sense.”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was less bothered about VAR, saying of the Origi incident: “No chance, we’re not playing basketball. He (Victor Lindelof) touched him but it’s not a clear and obvious error.”
He was more interested in an improved performance from his under-pressure side.
“They deserved more than the one point I felt, and it feels worse because it (equaliser) was towards the end of the game,” said the Norwegian, whose side are 13th in the table, still only two points off the bottom three.
“We set the team up to attack and be aggressive and create chances, and I thought we did that.
“We were more direct. Dan (James), Marcus, Andreas (Pereira) caused them problems. The energy they had on and off the ball.
“We did well, well enough for them to change their system. That’s a pat on the back for the boys, but they put us on the back foot second half.
“We are better when we attack quickly. No dilly-dallying on the ball, play it forward. I talked about it before the game; play the ball forward, take more risks. It doesn’t matter if you lose the ball up there, because you can win it back.
“I’m disappointed that I can’t sit here and talk about the win, but the performance is very positive.
“One point was the start of something, but we’re still disappointed that we didn’t get three.
“We’re not excited because we got one point off a good team – we need to start winning games.”
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Super-sub Adam Lallana tapped in his first goal in two-and-a-half years to salvage a late 1-1 draw for Premier League leaders Liverpool at Manchester United.
Marcus Rashford followed on from his midweek strike for England with a close-range finish from lively Wales winger Daniel James’ superb cross on 36 minutes. But this required the video assistant referee to reject calls for a foul from Sweden centre-back Victor Lindelof in the build-up on Belgium forward Divock Origi.
The hosts – who came into this 203rd derby just one point above the relegation zone – looked to have held on for a first top-flight victory since September 14, especially after prolific Senegal star Sadio Mane’s goal was ruled out by VAR for handball before the break. Lallana, however, emerged at the back stick to convert a devilish Andrew Robertson centre on 84 minutes to prevent a first league loss of the campaign, although the Reds couldn’t force a record-breaking 18th-successive victory in the absence of injured Egypt superstar Mohamed Salah.
Here are the Liverpool player ratings:
Alisson 6: Back in a Reds shirt for first time since August. Precious little to do.
Trent Alexander-Arnold 5: Pinged some trademark cross-field balls. But stymied by Solskjaer.
Joel Matip 5: Left for dead by Rashford’s excellent movement for goal. Not at recent standard.
Virgil van Dijk 7: Knocked over by Rashford in first-half. Imperious display, otherwise.
Andrew Robertson 8: Just when Solskjaer’s wing-backs threatened to quiet him, delivered supreme cross. Class act.
Jordan Henderson 6: Not too good, not too bad. Skipper made way as Reds searched for a goal.
Fabinho 6: Earned only booking of game. Was his presence needed in match that Liverpool knew they’d dominate ball?
Georginio Wijnaldum 5: Could not replicate searing Netherlands form after end of international break.
Sadio Mane 6: Right call to rule out his first-half effort for handball. Missed Salah’s presence.
Roberto Firmino 5: Finishes lacked conviction in the first-half. Only a presence in the build-up, after that.
Divock Origi 5: Had strong argument he was felled for Rashford goal. Otherwise, poor imitation of injured Salah.
32.1% - Manchester United registered their second lowest possession figure in a Premier League home game since 2003-04, second only to a 32.06% figure also against Liverpool in March 2018. Hospitable.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 20, 2019
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 7: Game turned on its head when his attacking drive was added to midfield. Should have started.
Adam Lallana 6: A first goal since May 2017 – and what a venue to break your drought.
Naby Keita N/A: Drove Reds on in final minutes in first PL run-out of season.
Jurgen Klopp insists his – and the club’s – poor record at Old Trafford has no bearing on Sunday’s match against Manchester United.
The German has not won in four visits to their arch-rivals’ ground, coming away with three draws and a defeat.
Liverpool’s last victory there came in March 2014, a 3-0 win by Brendan Rodgers’ side in their thrilling title challenge of that season.
In the Premier League they have won just five times in 27 visits, losing on 16 occasions.
But Klopp is a man whose mantra has always been to leave history where it belongs – in the past – and has no concerns about the statistics.
“I never really struggled with confidence to be honest. I am quite optimistic they (his players) have a chance,” said the Liverpool manager, whose side are looking to equal Manchester City’s Premier League record of 18 successive victories.
“History, in this case, is not really important. We are really looking forward to playing the game.
“If someone tells us I haven’t won there I wouldn’t have known. Let’s try for the first time and if we cannot win then perform in the best possible way and if they beat us ‘Congratulations’.
“We are not nervous because of the winning streak and the history we could make, we don’t think about it really. We are pretty relaxed but very ambitious as well.”
The Premier League leaders are eight from eight in the league this season and go into the weekend with an eight-point advantage at the top. Twelfth-placed United, by contrast, have endured their worst start for 30 years.
Nevertheless, there have been concerns expressed about recent performances with Liverpool enjoying a large slice of luck in their last two wins against Sheffield United, when goalkeeper Dean Henderson allowed the ball to slip through his legs, and Leicester, with an added-time penalty.
Klopp shrugged off the criticism, saying: “Can we play better, yes of course.
“But first and foremost you have to play better in the moment and that is influenced by your opponent, different situations, last game, next game, whatever.
“I liked the Leicester game a lot but that’s over now and we don’t rely on winning a game without performing.
“It is just about building on things and making the next step. We are not perfect but we are working on getting better.
“It worked out kind of so far and now the next challenge is a good opponent in a difficult situation and we should be ready for that as well.
“I am sure they (United) are all on their toes, ready and waiting for us.”
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