Jurgen Klopp was left dumbstruck by the decisions that went against Liverpool after Alisson was impeded for the first goal and the VAR decided against sending Aaron Cresswell off.
West Ham beat their visitors 3-2 in an enthralling Premier League clash on Sunday evening and, while Liverpool were far from their best, VAR and the referee, Craig Pawson, were genuinely shocking.
I am willing to concede that Alisson should have been stronger, braver and should have even called on his defenders to protect him from Michail Antonio and Ogbonna, but I can’t understand how Aaron Cresswell was not sent off.
The Scouser was reckless. Simply, he put Jordan Henderson’s career on the line by flying over the top of the ball in order to win it and should have been shown a red card.
He might have got the ball first but his follow-through likely would have broken Henderson’s leg had his foot been planted firmly in the London Stadium turf.
Not only did VAR refuse to tell Craig Pawson to review the incident on the monitor, Liverpool weren’t even given a free-kick and Cresswell wasn’t even told to calm down let alone shown a yellow card.
Predictably, Klopp was unable to understand the lack of action from the referee and his video assistant. He said that refs now use VAR as a way to avoid making decisions themselves. In short, it is a get out of jail free card.
Speaking after the game, he said “Not all refs – but [Pawson] does. He did that today, definitely.
“There are too many things where it is ‘let’s see what Var is saying’ and we have a problem with clear and obvious mistakes, because whoever is there for VAR hides behind referees and we have the wrong decisions.”
On Alisson being manhandled for the first goal, Klopp said: “It’s not man-marking, it’s blocking the goalkeeper. If he pushes the player away it’s a foul, and that’s a different problem.
“It will happen a lot more unless somebody intervenes. The goalkeeper must get help, otherwise in these situations everybody runs at the keeper.”
On the Cresswell challenge, Klopp remarked: “It’s reckless. Even when he touched the ball before, you have to control your body.
“It’s a clear red card. I don’t know what the referee would say now, but in the game, he looked confident his decision was correct. Two situations which were influential.”