Jürgen Klopp blames dive and VAR for Liverpool’s defeat to Napoli

• Italian side win 2-0 after late penalty award
• ‘I could say a lot of things about it but I’m not a bad loser’

Jürgen Klopp claimed Liverpool were undone by a dive and that video assistant referees remain at the mercy of human error after their Champions League defence started with defeat to Napoli.

Liverpool left back Andy Robertson was adjudged to have fouled José Callejón for the 82nd-minute penalty that turned an open contest in Napoli’s favour. Dries Mertens scored from the spot and an uncharacteristic mistake from Virgil van Dijk enabled Fernando Llorente to seal victory in the final seconds.

Felix Brych’s decision to award a penalty against Robertson was not deemed a clear and obvious error by VAR, however, leaving Klopp to lament the regulations.

“I’m pretty sure there are different views on that situation,” the Liverpool manager said of the penalty. “But when the player jumps before there is contact then there cannot be a penalty. That was the game-changer. It was very decisive in the moment. I could say a lot of things about it but I’m not a bad loser. I’m not the best loser, but I’m not bad.”

As for VAR’s involvement, Klopp added: “It’s a decision made by human beings. The rules say if it is not a clear mistake and it’s still humans who decide if it’s a mistake. I think it [VAR] will help in the long-term but as long as human beings make the decision there is still potential for failure. We are all like this. What can I say?

“The rules are like this, and they’d have to adjust the rules. The German [refereeing] team, they do it for a while already, the VAR was also German, they have been using it longer than others. They will find an explanation about why they did the right thing, that’s how it is. If he didn’t whistle for the penalty he wouldn’t have been overruled by VAR. We all wanted to have more clarification in these things, now we don’t have it.”

The Napoli coach, Carlo Ancelotti, refused to be drawn into the controversy. He said: “It looked like a penalty from where I was sat but I haven’t seen a replay and I don’t want to get drawn into that.”


Andy Hunter

The GuardianTramp

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