Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp took to his post-match press conference to blast the Premier League officials following PGMOL’s admission of human error during an offside VAR check for Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal against Tottenham Hotspur.
The Reds’ visit to North London was one of the most controversial of the 2023/24 campaign so far with a number of questionable decisions made by referee Simon Hooper and the team operating VAR throughout the 90-minute clash.
Liverpool went into the fixture with an opportunity to steal the top spot from Manchester City in the Premier League table after the treble winners lost their earlier game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, whilst Spurs were looking to take their chances to close the gap with both sides inside the top four.
There were a number of game-changing decisions undertaken by Hooper and the VAR officials, including a red card shown to both Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota, however, surprisingly there was an even bigger controversy when Luis Diaz found the back of the net in the first half.
The decision was taken extremely fast to dismiss the Colombian winger’s converted effort which left supporters flabbergasted as it appeared to the naked eye that he was very obviously onside and the goal was, in fact, incorrectly ruled out.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited were quick to deliver a statement following Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat which stated:
“PGMOL acknowledges a significant human error occurred during the first half of Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool.”
“The goal by Luis Diaz was disallowed for offside by the on-field team of match officials. This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention. However, the VAR failed to intervene.”
“PGMOL will immediately be contacting Liverpool at the conclusion of the fixture to acknowledge the error.”
This statement came in at the same time that Klopp was speaking in his post-match press conference, where the Liverpool boss blasted the officials in reaction to the apology and acknowledgment:
“Who does that help now?”
“We had the situation in the Manchester United vs. Wolves game. Did they get points for it? It doesn’t help.
“We will not get points for it so it doesn’t help. Nobody expects 100 per cent right decisions on-field but I think we all thought when VAR came in it might make things easier.”
Our thoughts on Liverpool’s controversial clash with Spurs…
There is no doubt that Liverpool supporters will be left baffled and seething after losing out on the opportunity to go ahead of Man City this evening, however, the resilience of the side will offer a huge positive despite their unbeaten run coming to an end.
In the final 20 minutes of the game, Liverpool were down to nine men when Jota followed Jones down the tunnel after a poorly timed tackle that earned him a second yellow.
An unfortunate own goal by Joel Matip in the last 30 seconds of extra time served as the final nail in the coffin of a disastrous day out for the Reds, but the defensive performance was absolutely outstanding over the entirety of the final 45 minutes.
Indeed, it will be a difficult pill to swallow for the squad, however, there were some really promising signs of the improvements Liverpool have made collectively already this season and should be able to take some positives from the performance.
It remains to be seen as to what will be the next steps from PGMOL in ensuring another mistake of this magnitude does not repeat itself and what the consequences will be for the clear negligence undertaken by those operating VAR tonight.