The Sunday Mail
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp was yesterday left baffled by the offside decision that cost his team victory in the Merseyside derby and expressed concern over two key injuries suffered in the 2-2 Premier League draw with Everton.
The champions thought they had won the game with a stoppage-time goal from Jordan Henderson, but a VAR review found the narrowest margin of offside and cancelled out the potential winner.
Liverpool had Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk taken off with an injury early in the game and Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara also picked up a knock from a wild challenge by Richarlison which resulted in a red card for the Brazilian forward.
“I am a real supporter of VAR.
“(Last season) the armpit was offside. Now, there is no armpit offside, and everyone tells me it was not offside.
“It does not lift my mood.
“We lost one player with Virgil and maybe another with the red card.
“Not our day,” he said.
The German said his players had watched the VAR incident back on a laptop in the dressing-room, but did not understand how the decision was made.
Van Dijk was hurt in the seventh minute due to a wild challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, after the referee blew for offside.
The England goalkeeper was not even cautioned for the lunging tackle.
“It does not look good,” said Klopp, who defined Pickford’s actions as “not a challenge the keeper can do”.
“He plays on with pain, he never misses a game.
“I don’t know how bad it is, but it is not good,” he said.
Thiago eventually got up from Richarlison’s red-card challenge and was able to create the opening for Henderson’s disallowed goal, but later reported an injury.
“When we were walking off, Thiago told me he thinks he was injured. “We will have to see,” said Klopp.
But the Liverpool boss was pleased with the way his team responded to their pre-international break 7-2 mauling at Aston Villa.
“The performance was top, it was a top game and a good game for both teams,” Klopp said.
“We were dominant against a side full of confidence and with a clear plan.
“It was probably the best away game (against Everton) since I was at Liverpool.
“I saw a really good performance. I would have been happier if we had won, but I wanted to see a response and see the team we were before.”
At Stamford Bridge, Southampton came from behind twice to earn a 3-3 draw at Chelsea, despite Timo Werner scoring two skilful individual goals for the home side.
It was his first goals in the Premier League.
Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard scored from a free kick in injury time after an entertaining and open game of fluctuating fortunes.
Werner, who joined Chelsea from RB Leipzig in June had earlier lit up Stamford Bridge with a delightful dummied goal in the 15th minute and another in the 28th when he lobbed over the advancing Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy, then headed into the empty goal.
The $60 million striker should have had a third in the 40th minute, but he blazed the ball over the bar and three minutes later Southampton pulled one back when Danny Ings rounded goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after Werner’s compatriot Kai Havertz lost the ball deep in the Chelsea half.
Southampton kept up the attacking pressure in the second half and earned their equaliser in the 57th minute after some shambolic home defending when Kurt Zouma misjudged a back-pass and Kepa missed the ball which Che Adams eventually slammed into the roof of the net. But Chelsea struck back immediately with a well-worked goal, the ever-busy Werner crossing for Havertz to earn his own first Premier League goal with a simple tap-in, only for Southampton to equalise again in injury time.
EPL Results & Fixtures
Everton 2-2 Liverpool
Chelsea 3-3 Southampton
Manchester City v Arsenal (Played late)
Newcastle v Manchester United (Played late)
Sheffield Utd v Fulham 1pm
Crystal Palace v Brighton 3pm
Tottenham v West Ham 5:30pm
Leicester v Aston Villa 8:15pm
West Ham v Burnley 6:30pm
Leeds v Wolves 9pm. — Reuters.