The goal that started Leicester City’s late turnaround against Liverpool was “a clear offside” and they should not have even been awarded the free-kick, according to Jurgen Klopp.
Mohamed Salah fired Liverpool ahead in the 67th minute and Leicester felt they had been harshly denied a penalty when a VAR review deemed that Thiago Alcantara’s foul on Harvey Barnes occurred outside the box.
However, James Maddison’s free-kick found the far corner in the 78th minute, with VAR overturning an offside decision against Daniel Amartey – who did not get a touch on the delivery – after Roberto Firmino’s foot was adjudged to have put the Leicester defender in a legal position.
Jamie Vardy was gifted a goal when debutant Ozan Kabak and Alisson failed to deal with a ball over the top, and the Foxes had a third goal in the space of eight minutes when Barnes was released by Wilfred Ndidi and slotted in a cool finish.
Liverpool consequently fell six points behind Leicester, who moved up to second in the Premier League, and 10 adrift of leaders Manchester City.
“We conceded a goal, which is a really tough one to take. I know we discuss VAR a lot, but I think we all agree it was a turning point in the game,” said Klopp.
“I have seen it a couple of times and the moment when they stop the situation, where you look who is offside and who isn’t, he didn’t even touch the ball yet, so it means it’s still an individual decision someone makes. That’s really hard because for me it looks like a clear offside in that moment, because he has to touch the ball. That’s the moment it’s yes or no.
“The second goal is a misunderstanding, we said they need to get used to each other and they were fine for 75 minutes.
“It was a really good game. They were one position ahead of us – maybe now more – but on the pitch that was not obvious, we were the clear dominant side.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) February 13, 2021
“We played football we wanted to play, we avoided their counter-attacks, we scored a really nice goal, had more chances. We have to work harder to get more chances and maybe score more goals, but the game was really good and then we concede two goals.
“The third one we lose the ball too easy and one pass and they are done. That’s something I don’t like. We were much too open at that moment and that is not OK.”
Alisson made two errors in Liverpool’s 4-1 loss to City last weekend and Klopp was unsure whether that was a factor in his mix-up with Kabak, though he said he did not hear the goalkeeper make his presence known to his centre-back as he rushed out of the box.
Klopp said: “We tried everything. We were confident, Ali was confident. He played a super game, made super saves. Then at that moment – maybe because of last week, who knows – he came out, I didn’t hear him shouting and to be honest I’m not sure if he said something or not. Ozan doesn’t know if he’s coming or not and that leads to the second goal.”
The Liverpool boss was disappointed with the way his team collapsed after the equaliser and questioned the foul that preceded Leicester’s equaliser.
“The turning point was the first goal. That’s not okay, but that’s the point we take as criticism for ourselves that it changed too much with one goal,” he said.
“Even when the goal was really tricky – I don’t think it was even a foul because Barnes jumps in the situation. We didn’t react well to that and I take that.
“They were lucky, for me. They know it probably. They finished the game and deserved the three points, but we have to take our observations.”