Rival fans think ‘Klopp was the VAR’ as Liverpool escaped handball and red cards
Liverpool were dealt a slice of fortune in their FA Cup clash against Brighton as they got away with a handball in the build-up to their opening goal – leaving fans adamant Jurgen Klopp is the man operating the VAR.
The Reds returned to the Amex Stadium two weeks after being on the receiving end of a 3-0 drubbing – a performance manager Klopp described as a "horror show" and the "worst" he'd seen from one of his teams during his football career.
His side were clearly keen to put that right, however, as they took the game to The Seagulls and got their just rewards after half an hour. Harvey Elliott bagged the winner in the FA Cup third round replay against Wolves and continued in a similar vein of form, latching onto Mohamed Salah's pass before sliding the ball past Brighton stopper Jason Steele.
But fans were adamant the goal should not have stood.
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Despite a lengthy VAR check, Liverpool's goal was given, though replays showed the ball striking Naby Keita arm, thus stopping a Brighton attack, prior to Salah racing away towards goal.
Fans were in uproar on social media after the incident, with one posting a mocked up image of Klopp sat behind the VAR monitors in Stockley Park, writing on Twitter: "But of course VAR ignore the handball in the buildup of Liverpool's goal!"
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Another Twitter user fumed: "It's handball. Absolutely no way LiVARpool would have such a goal ruled out. Ref just watches it and allows play to continue. Poor as per normal."
One Brighton fan was so incensed he felt that if his side had scored the goal, it would have been disallowed. "That’s handball, I’m so sick of these big 6 decisions that we’ll never ever get given for us ffs."
He added: "If that’s for us against Liverpool it gets disallowed, that’s all I’m saying."
Fans were later in disbelief that Liverpool star Fabinho was not shown a red card for his tackle from behind on Evan Ferguson, instead escaping with just a booking.
Moments before too, Ibrahima Konate was lucky not to be penalised as he barged into Alexis Mac Allister last man, which left the World Cup winner on the deck with a shoulder injury.
Fortunately for Brighton, Roberto De Zerbi's men mounted a thrilling comeback to seal their passage to the next round. Tariq Lamptey's shot deflected off Lewis Dunk past Alisson to draw the teams level on 39 minutes.
The tie looked to be heading to a replay before Kaoru Mitoma scored a superb goal in stoppage time to send the Amex faithful into raptures. The VAR even checked Mitoma's goal for offside, but adjudged all Brighton attackers had stayed onside.
Surely Jurgen would've had something to say about that…
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