Jurgen Klopp slams Jordan Pickford tackle on Virgil van Dijk and questions VAR

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has hit out at Jordan Pickford’s tackle on Virgil van Dijk in Saturday’s fiery Merseyside derby while he has questioned a number of decisions made by VAR.

The Premier League champions were held to a 2-2 draw though felt Everton should have been reduced to 10 men in the first few minutes after Pickford made a rash challenge on Van Dijk that forced the defender out of the game.

Later in the match, the Toffees were shown a red card for Richarlison’s studs-up challenge on Thiago but appeared to have grabbed three points with a late winner, only for VAR to rule it out for offside.

Klopp was far from happy at his post-match press conference – with both Thiago and Van Dijk picking up injuries – and he was convinced the early Pickford challenge was a penalty, questioning the tackle and the lack of intervention from VAR.

Asked if he had watched back the incident, Klopp said: ‘No, only the first moment, in the game, that was pretty quick. For me it was a clear penalty, what I saw.

‘And then obviously we saw that the flag went up, so offside, I still thought it was worth to have a look on the foul but that didn’t happen. We have no power there. We’re just here, you discuss it with me, we have to ask other people about that, not me.

‘It was a… what can I say? Find the word… I don’t want to say Jordan Pickford wanted to do it but it is of course not a challenge how a goalie can do it in the box because there is another player.

‘If it’s not offside, it is 100% penalty. And so it’s nothing.’

He had also told BT Sport: ‘I didn’t see it back but it took a while, obviously it was not too big the offside and then Pickford kicks him completely out of the game.’

On the offside goal, he continued: ‘In the dressing room people are stood around the laptop and I ask, “What’s wrong?” and they say, “We’ve watched the situation back and we don’t understand why they say it’s offside”.

‘Look, I’m a real supporter of VAR but then you’d expect, especially with offside, that you’d get the right decision. We scored a goal one time at Aston Villa and they said the arm pit was offside… sounds funny, we got it.

‘This time, the picture I saw now, once on the laptop, there’s no armpit, there’s nothing, it’s just not offside. And since then I’ve had 10 interviews, round about, and everyone tells me it was not offside – and that does not lift my mood!’

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