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Jurgen Klopp bemoans lack of VAR in Manchester City defeat

Jurgen Klopp bemoans lack of VAR in Manchester City defeat

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has questioned the absence of VAR in his side’s EFL Cup fourth-round exit to Manchester City on Thursday night.

The Reds’ defence of their crown ended in a pulsating 3-2 defeat to Pep Guardiola‘s men, who dominated the opening exchanges and went ahead through Erling Braut Haaland.

Fabio Carvalho came up with an equaliser against the run of play for Liverpool before the break, and Riyad Mahrez and Mohamed Salah scored within a minute of one another early in the second half.

A header from Nathan Ake settled the contest as Man City advanced to the quarter-finals – where they will meet Southampton – but Klopp was left less than impressed with the absence of technology.

VAR is not used until the semi-finals of the EFL Cup due to its unavailability at lower league grounds, but Klopp believes that the momentum went against his side after marginal decisions did not go their way.

Fabio Carvalho celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in the EFL Cup on December 22, 2022© Reuters

“The first chance of Haaland, at the start of the game, was offside. You don’t know? Yes it was. I tell you. That gives the game direction,” Klopp told Sky Sports News.

“It was like, bump, ‘oh my god, they are through’, it was offside, but no flag up, and it gives you a bad feeling. I would say if we had VAR, the referees are used to VAR, and all of a sudden you tell them not today. It looked like in a couple of situations they were waiting for it, or thinking there was still VAR.

“But there were a couple of offside decisions, where everyone in the stadium was convinced they were offside. We’ll never know probably because we can’t play them back.

“But it makes sense if you play a competition and everywhere is VAR [Premier League], why not, especially in a game like this. I understand in earlier rounds it’s not possible on all levels, but this, City-Liverpool, all the technical things are here, so why shouldn’t we use it?”

Both City and Liverpool welcomed back a host of their World Cup stars during a frenetic contest, but the Reds were handed another injury concern when James Milner went off feeling his hamstring in the first half.

Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring for Manchester City against Liverpool in the EFL Cup on December 22, 2022© Reuters

The 36-year-old started at right-back with Trent Alexander-Arnold suffering from an illness, but Klopp is confident that he has avoided a serious problem, and the Liverpool boss also affirmed that Virgil van Dijk should be ready for the resumption of the Premier League away to Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – who was in line for a start at the Etihad – was also affected by a virus before the match, but the midfielder was able to come on for the second half.

“Millie felt something in the hamstring. We still hope it is not an injury, but we will see. He felt something, but after 30 years in the business he said, ‘I don’t think it’s a lot’ so we will see,” Klopp told his post-game press conference.

“We thought Trent was available but then he got ill, so that is what we have to wait for. Virgil trained today [and] yesterday completely normal and should be ready for Monday, but we have to see who gets the virus until then.”

Liverpool occupy sixth place in the Premier League table ahead of the top flight’s return, 15 points behind leaders Arsenal and seven adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who have played a game more.

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