After the setback against Atalanta in the Champions League, Liverpool were looking to inject confidence within the side in the Premier League roster against Brighton and Hove Albion. But they were denied full points courtesy of a VAR decision in the last minute of the match, where the Seagulls were awarded a spot-kick and thus, the points were shared.

Jordan Henderson was left fuming.

Danny Welbeck admitting that a spot-kick award was “soft”.

There was, however, to be late drama as Andy Robertson took a wild swing at clearing the ball inside the box and connected with the boot of Seagulls striker Welbeck.

The play was initially allowed to continue, but referee Stuart Attwell was asked to review the incident on a pitch-side monitor and ended up presenting Pascal Gross with an opportunity to equalize.

Jurgen Klopp’s side appeared to have avoided any arguments against technology as they entered stoppage-time at the Amex Stadium.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane had seen goals ruled out for offside on the south coast, but in-form Diogo Jota made one opportunity count and had Liverpool on course for a hard-fought win.

The match ended 1-1 and it left Klopp frustrated and annoyed.

In an interview with Des Kelly of BT Sport Klopp shared his views and it had been a fiery interview.

Here are the excerpts:

Des Kelly: A painful setback. We’re talking about VAR again. Was it right? Was it correct?

Jurgen Klopp: I didn’t see but our analysts said yeah it was really close with Mo. I think it was the foot, but we are used to it with armpits and club badges so if we are told then obviously it is offside. The other one with Sadio was clear I heard, so yeah. The penalty, it is how it is, I think the decisions were right, yes.

DK: You thought the decisions were right, well Jordan Henderson just said some of the Brighton players agreed that it wasn’t a penalty…

JK: Yeah, but the ref, look… that is how it is. If I said now, it was not, ‘but ask…’, the ref whistled…today I say it was not a penalty but you are not happy with that answer. What do you want to hear? Give the answers yourself.

DK: I was just telling you what your players said…

JK: Yeah, the players were close but I said it was a penalty because the referee whistled it after watching it.

DK: So you agree with that decision. In terms of the performance today…?

JK: Very good, very good. I could not be more proud of the boys what they put out here today. What we said before the game, what a possession team Brighton is, I could see the boys played like how they had to play. The first half an hour we struggled a little bit with the last line with their balls in behind because we didn’t drop in the right moment.

We got that sorted in the first half already. Second half we had no problems with that anymore but we had problems with energy and we had to sit back a bit deeper and that’s how the situation happened. But the situation around the goals we scored were brilliant. Even if they were disallowed, the situations were brilliant. Mo’s goal was a brilliant goal, Sadio’s header was outstanding. Some other situations, the goal we scored was really cool so it was all good. But it is a just tough time that is how it is.

DK: You warned us about Connolly before the game, you said he would cause some problems. He was getting in behind through the lines…

JK: Only two opportunities to defend that, you have to avoid the pass or you have to drop in the right moment because he is running through the gaps so it is quite difficult. We spoke before the game, the last line is not settled together but that is normal so sometimes you have to learn in the game.

The boys did that, which was really good. Nat Phillips played an exceptional game honestly, so that is all good. In football, you always need a little bit of luck to win a tough away game but today we didn’t have luck so we had a draw.

DK: Jota’s scoring run keeps going; he’s slotted in so brilliantly…

JK: It was just a good goal. I thought the front three played really, really good together. That worked out really good!

DK: Mo Salah didn’t look too happy to be coming off early; I assume you are planning ahead for that. What’s the information with James Milner?

JK: On a day when Mo Salah is smiling when he leaves the pitch then I know something is really wrong. So I get it 100 percent. The problem is that he had Covid, was out for 10-12 days, played 60 minutes, three days later plays again so we just have to be careful, he doesn’t like that I know it, but that’s it.

DK: James Milner, hamstring is it?

JK: Yeah, congratulations!

DK: What, me personally?

JK: Oh no, but you work for them. Yeah. Hamstring. Surprise. And they had injuries as well. Because it’s a tough time. But ask [Sheffield United manager] Chris Wilder how we can avoid that.

DK: Maybe you’re firing at the wrong target.

JK: Sorry?

DK: Maybe you are firing at the wrong target. We are broadcasters, we work within the Premier League rules, and the Premier League makes the rules, that’s the Premier League clubs. So shouldn’t you be talking to… Premier League clubs, shouldn’t you be talking to chief executives…

JK: I don’t know how often I have to say it; you picked the 12.30 kick-off. You. Not you personally but you did it, didn’t you? Us on 12.30. So between now and December and the New Year, there’s one more Wednesday and then [inaudible] days later.

DK: But when you say, you picked the 12.30; Premier League clubs chose that slot. There’s a reason that slot is there, it’s because it’s valuable to the Premier League.

JK: I’ve said it now a couple of times these are difficult moments, these are difficult times…

DK: I know they’re difficult times. The stadium is empty, of course it’s difficult times, and the broadcasters have supported the game.

JK: Yeah, but if we play at 3 pm or 5.30 pm, it’s exactly the same, it’s Saturday.

DK: But that has different ramifications. You should be going to… your chief executive should be with the other chief executives having that discussion. If you come down here and just have a go at the broadcasters, it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s not going to change anything.

JK: I’m not having a go at the broadcasters; I just say how it is.

DK: You said it was criminal.

JK: After Wednesday, Saturday 12.30 is really, really dangerous for the players.

DK: You also said the broadcasters don’t care, and that’s the problem. It isn’t the problem – the problem is…

JK: Why did you pick us against Crystal Palace, if you care?

DK: I didn’t pick it but every pick is agreed by the Premier League, every executive around that table.

JK: Because it’s such a special season you obviously rely on things we agreed in another time.

DK: No, no, no…

JK: Yes, you did.

DK: No, look. If it was all about player welfare, why did the Premier League clubs block the five substitutes?

JK: Oh because… that’s very interesting now. When we had the talk between the managers, a week ago, I think, it was 55 if not 60 [percent] for five subs. Since then nothing happened. Because you need at least 14 votes, but Chris Wilder or whoever says constantly that I’m selfish. I think all the things he said to show he’s selfish but it’s now not too important. And I was in a similar situation as he was when I was at Mainz and it was all about staying in the league. But they [Sheffield United] have now three subs and one point if I’m right. So there’s no advantage or disadvantage.

So if you can’t do five subs in a game like this… it’s not for tactical reasons… for example, today, five subs, I take off Robbo [Andy Robertson]. 100 percent. And bring Kostas Tsimikas on, to save Robbo.

Not to make our game better or whatever, just to save him. That’s the situation. It’s not about we changed tactics and the system and stuff like this, and bring on five players at one time and all these kinds of things. It’s not like this; it’s just to save the players. Yes of course I save my players but it’s about all… it’s not only my players that have a problem. Here you will see, from now on until December you will see it and we will see what happens.

DK: We agree with you and I can understand what you’re saying but you’re actually going about it in a strange way. You’re attacking the broadcaster instead of getting the support you need in the Premier League meeting.

JK: So what I want to say is, I only go for broadcasters with a Wednesday and 12.30. Only seven managers have a similar problem, and they all agree. Jose says now I should stop doing it and actually I wanted to stop doing it because it doesn’t help. The problem is we have a contract, signed a contract, yes our CEOs, whatever, the shareholders did that, that’s true. And it’s not a problem.

In all seasons it’s a problem but in this season it’s a bigger problem.

It’s a bigger problem. Because of no pre-season, because of the intensity and all of this kind of stuff, because of the shorter season, and when we have that slot I say it’s not OK. Have a look at how many – now, I’m not selfish but I speak about Liverpool – until, when this year’s over, in that part of the season we had this slot three times.

I spoke a lot about it but we had three. Look who else had it three times – nobody. So of course it’s a problem for me, it’s a problem for me to pick a team. That’s my problem.


DK: The problem is you can’t change it, you have to change it via the boardroom that we’re talking about. Look, we could probably go on forever. Thanks, Jurgen!

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