Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was exasperated as his side lost 2-1 to a last-gasp Joel Matip own goal at Tottenham Hotspur after a first-half Luis Diaz effort was wrongly disallowed and two visiting players were sent off in an incident-packed game.
Colombian Diaz struck just past the half-hour mark in the Premier League clash after Liverpool had been reduced to 10 men when Curtis Jones was sent off for a challenge on Yves Bissouma following a VAR intervention that Klopp thought was harsh.
Substitute Diogo Jota was also dismissed late in the second half after two quick yellow cards but the Liverpool boss thought the first should never have been awarded for a foul on Destiny Udogie as the left back seemed to trip himself up.
“The (Diaz) offside goal. That’s not offside when you see it. They drew their lines wrong,” said Klopp. “The ball’s between Mo’s (Salah’s) legs. They … didn’t judge the moment when Mo passed the ball right. It’s so tough to deal with it.
“We scored an own goal, that’s really tough to take… The first red card, Curtis steps on the ball and goes over. Not a bad tackle. It looks different in slow motion. He steps full throttle on the ball and goes over the ball. That’s unlucky.
“(Jota’s) first yellow was not a yellow. Then he gets a second and to defend with eight outfield players is tricky.”
Despite the nature of the defeat, Klopp said he was proud of his team’s backs-to-the-wall performance which almost delivered a point in extraordinary circumstances against a high-flying Spurs side who are making a habit of snatching late home wins.
“You want to build something you need players with mentality and I saw them today, they fought. Pretty special tonight,” added Klopp, whose side last tasted defeat by Tottenham in 2017 and had lost once to them in their previous 21 league games.
The referees body, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) later issued a statement blaming “significant human error” for the Diaz goal being disallowed.
“This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention,” the PGMOL added, saying that it would conduct a full review into the circumstances which led to the mistake.
Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk told the BBC: “The VAR should be absolutely clear and obvious with everything they’re deciding on. I’ve seen the still back, I think on live TV there were no lines being shown. It’s all a bit strange…
“If you look at the fight we showed, the defending we did, the togetherness – it was good to see. The manager has told us in the dressing room and for me as a captain it’s good to see everyone working so hard and fighting for each other. To concede an own goal in the last two minutes of the game is cruel.”
The result took Spurs up to second, a point off Manchester City, while Liverpool are a further point back in fourth.