Thursday , January 28 2021

Liverpool relegated to victory because of VAR

After receiving a penalty at the end of the second half, the Liverpool defender drew 1-1 in the Premier League’s 10th round against Brighton on 28 November.

*Goal: Gross 90 ‘+ 3 (penalty) – Jota 60’.

In the last minute of the main kick, Andrew Robertson broke the ball and hit Danny Welbeck into Liverpool’s penalty area. Referee Stuart Attwell did not stop the whistle initially, but VAR intervened. After reviewing the collision on the offline screen, he changed his mind and punished Brighton.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker distracted the goalkeeper at 11m, scoring into the right corner to equalize Brighton.

Pascal Gross did not repeat the mistakes of his teammates in the penalty shootout.  Photo: Reuters.

Gross scored a penalty in the second half for Brighton. Image: Reuters.

Liverpool players have many reasons to be dissatisfied with this VAR game. Before the “light penalty”, Captain Jordan Henderson said after the game, the referees rejected a Liverpool goal twice. The first was where Mohamed Salah got caught offside as he picked up Roberto Firmino’s pass and finished the first half. In the second half, after Andrew Robertson’s free-kick, Sadio Mane hit Mathew Ryan’s goal, but VAR found himself offside again.

Despite miscalculation in VAR decisions, it was clear that Liverpool had a difficult game. The absence of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip prompted coach Jurgen Klopp to take steps against the defenders. Nathaniel Phillips made his Premier League debut, joining a midfielder from Fabinho.

As always, Liverpool pushed from the first minute. They use many long passes to take advantage of their forwards’ speed and regularly undercut their hosts. But after the first few minutes, Brighton was gradually regaining its position as well. Aaron Connolly once fought goalkeeper Alisson Becker but scored.

Connolly’s speed and mischief suffered several times for the Liverpool defenders then. The Irish striker took a penalty after the inexperienced situation of young football Neco Williams. However, despite Alisson’s deception, Neal Maupay fired. Immediately after this phase, the Brighton striker left the field with a ligament injury.

Jota has scored nine goals in 14 appearances for Liverpool this season, including eight in his last eight games.  Photo: Reuters.

Jota has scored nine goals in 14 appearances for Liverpool this season, including eight in his last eight games. Image: Reuters.

Liverpool continued to dominate early in the second half. But the risk of a counterattack always haunts them as both Fabinho and Phillips are unable to judge and assertively stay far away. However, while Brighton was playing well, rookie Diogo Jota shone once again as he helped Liverpool advance. The Portuguese passed the ball past the two hosts before reaching the edge of the post. The shot was not strong, but it was dangerous and Brighton’s defense gave up.

After being conceded, Brighton rose to find the goal. Coach Graham Potter brought in Adam Lallana, but the English midfielder only played 10 minutes ahead of the old side before giving way to Ali Jahanbakhsh. Meanwhile, Solly March’s free kick or the subsequent midfielder cross in 1994 didn’t make Alisson difficult.

But then VAR intervened, giving Brighton a chance to equalize 1-1. The second half had an eight-minute break, but neither team scored more goals. With one point of the match, Liverpool won in the Tottenham group, but also risked being beaten by their rivals.


Brighton: Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Veltman, Bissouma, Gross, March; Welbeck, Maupay (Trossard 26 ‘), Connolly (Lallana 63’, Jahanbakhsh 71 ‘).

Liverpool: Alisson; N Williams (Henderson 46 ‘), Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Minamino, Wijnaldum, Milner (Jones 74 ‘); Salah (Mane 63 ‘), Firmino, Jota.

Quang Huy

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