‘A guy in an office’: Klopp fumes over Liverpool non-penalty

Jürgen Klopp criticised VAR official David Coote after Liverpool‘s 1-1 draw against Arsenal at Anfield, saying a “guy in an office” should have awarded a penalty following a Martin Odegaard handball during the first-half.

Arsenal secured top spot in the Premier League on Christmas Day with the draw, despite Mohamed Salah had cancelling out Gabriel‘s fourth minute opener, and the point leaves Liverpool second, a point behind the Gunners.

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But Liverpool manager Klopp said his team should have had a penalty in the 19th minute after Odegaard appeared to block Salah’s path to the ball by handling in the 18-yard box.

Referee Chris Kavanagh allowed play to continue and the game was not halted for a VAR check by the official, with Coote judging that Odegaard handled the ball while falling.

“Yes I have seen it,” Klopp said. “I am pretty sure someone will come to explain it to me why it was not a handball but I don’t know how?

“I don’t say that the ref can see it because I don’t know where he was in that moment.

“But how can a guy in an office see that and not come to the conclusion that maybe, possibly it could be worth the referee having another look?”

Asked about the incident, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “There were two big decisions, I have not looked at them again yet. I was asked before but I have not seen them again.”

Having failed to secure the spot-kick, Liverpool suffered a further blow when left-back Kostas Tsimikas suffered a broken collarbone when colliding with Klopp on the touchline after being bundled off the pitch by Bukayo Saka.

Tsimikas now joins fellow left-back Andy Robertson on the sidelines – the Scotland defender underwent shoulder surgery in October.

“I had no pain but thought maybe Kostas was going to be fine,” Klopp said. “I would happily give my collarbone for him to be fit again. It is not cool when something like that happens in front of you and you are involved in that, I was not sure what even happened or if I fell on him. It is not nice to see.

“It is definitely broken, so he is out for a long time. The other issues we will have to see. It is hard for us to swallow with the Robbo [Andy Robertson] situation.”

Liverpool can move to the top of the table with a win at Burnley on Dec. 26, as Arsenal play next against West Ham on Dec. 28. Klopp said that this clash against Arteta’s team highlighted the quality of the two teams currently sitting first and second in the table.

“Neither side gave up.” he said. “Until the last second it was top intensity, everybody felt it, super intense. Tough game, good game, in moments spectacular.

“Absolutely we take confidence from the result. You have to take confidence from these results and performances against a top, top side.”

Arteta agreed with Klopp, saying in his post-match news conference: “Unbelievable game of football. One of the most intense and hectic games I’ve witnessed in 20 years.”

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