Liverpool FC preserved its undefeated record in Sunday's 1-1 draw against Manchester United, but manager Jurgen Klopp was none too pleased.
Klopp ripped VAR for upholding Marcus Rashford's first-half goal, which the English forward scored by capping a counter-attacking move that began when Man United defender Victor Lindelof appeared to foul Liverpool striker Divock Origi.
"They were better in the game than we were [in the first half] for what they wanted to do," Klopp told Sky Sports after the match. "They defended well, but in the end, they scored a goal which shows all the problems with VAR. Because [referee Martin Atkinson], I'm sure, let the game run because that is the protocol of VAR, and the VAR says, 'Yeah, there was contact. Was a foul.' But you saw it differently, then it's [no call]. ...
"100 percent, like it's 100 percent because for me it was a clear foul. We take that. We couldn't change it anymore. It's just the situation. It's just a general problem. The
looks at it and says, 'Oh, you decided it like this. That's possible.' ... But it was a foul, and they didn't decide it."
Klopp expanded on his thoughts during his post-match press conference, telling reporters that he was certain VAR would overturn Rashford's opening goal.
Klopp: "The first goal I think everyone can agree it was a foul but with VAR it is not a clear foul. That is the situation. We didn't lose but it was an obvious foul. Yes, there is contact, I'm sure they said that but it is not a 'clear foul?' That doesn't work."#LFC— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) October 20, 2019
Klopp: "The problem is that the ref lets it run because we've got VAR and then VAR doesn't want to over-rule the ref. It makes no sense. For me, it was so clear. I calmed the bench down because I was so sure (it would be disallowed."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) October 20, 2019
Klopp: I know sometimes in England you say 'that's not a foul, it's a challenge'. Atkinson let it go because somebody else could make a decision, and they didn't make the decision (because they thought the referee had made the decision).— Ian Doyle (@IanDoyleSport) October 20, 2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Klopp's counterpart in Man United's dugout, threw some shade at the German's view.
Klopp threw some, too. Liverpool retained 68 percent of possession in Mo Salah's injury absence, but just four of its 10 shots were on target. Klopp owed that to United's defense-first approach, which he said has been the case in each of Liverpool's recent matches against its rivals -- whether under Solskjaer or predecessor Jose Mourinho.
Klopp: "When we came here this year, last year and the year before they just defended, it's not a criticism, it's a fact."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) October 20, 2019
Klopp asked about United's approach - which he called 5-3-2 - after a fifth time at Old Trafford without victory. "I'm not the person who should be frustrated by Man United's style. They just defend. It's OK. Just a fact."— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) October 20, 2019
The approach has worked against Klopp, however. After Sunday's draw, he remains winless at Old Trafford.
Liverpool's lead over Manchester City atop the English Premier League table fell to just six points. Considering how close the margins were between the sides last season, Rashford's upheld goal could represent a turning point in the title race.
Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp rips VAR on disputed Manchester United goal originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area