The manager did not see the funny side of the Premier League’s bizarre explanation for disallowing the forward’s goal at Villa Park
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called for clarity on offside decisions and VAR after Roberto Firmino was harshly denied a goal against Aston Villa.
Premier League leaders Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1 at Villa Park on Saturday thanks to last-gasp headers from Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane, cancelling out Trezeguet’s first-half opener.
It was a triumph which maintained Liverpool’s six-point lead over titleholders Manchester City atop the table, while also extending their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 28 matches.
However, Klopp’s side may not have needed to rely on late drama had Firmino’s goal been allowed to stand shortly after Villa took the lead.
Mane delivered a cross which Firmino bundled home, only for the linesman’s offside flag to disallow the goal.
VAR took over to assess the decision, but even though Firmino appeared to be onside, it was not overturned, with the Premier League’s official Twitter account later explaining that the Brazilian’s armpit was adjudged to have been offside.
“You what? His armpit?” was Klopp’s incredulous response in a news conference after he was told of the official explanation.
“We won 2-1, so it’s now not that serious. But we are talking about serious moments, it’s not right that we are sitting here talking about it and everybody wants to laugh.
Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino was flagged offside before putting the ball in the net against Aston Villa and the decision was confirmed by VAR— Premier League (@premierleague) November 2, 2019
The red line signifies Firmino and was aligned to his armpit, which was marginally ahead of the last Villa defender#AVLLIV pic.twitter.com/a2OnNWnz2E
“There’s nothing to laugh about, to be honest. A manager can get sacked for losing football games.
“I don’t want to make it bigger than it is. We just have to clarify it. I don’t say anybody is doing it on purpose.”
Klopp also acknowledged Liverpool – though worthy of getting something from the game – were certainly not guaranteed to go on and claim all three points even after Robertson’s 87th-minute equaliser.
“We still have to learn, we still have to improve, we do, we will, I know that,” Klopp added.
“Sometimes you need to get knocks but so far, we could sort it, most of the time. Yes of course when you score these kinds of goals, it’s lucky but it’s not that we didn’t deserve to win the game.
“I never thought a second about “did we lose already?” or “can we win?”. We just have to try to score, that’s everything. It’s not that I think because now we have a couple of comebacks today is another comeback.”