Jürgen Klopp was left incensed with the referee, Craig Pawson, and his video assistant Stuart Attwell after Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat by West Ham on Sunday, claiming the officials had let down his players in regard to two key decisions and accusing Attwell of “hiding” behind Pawson on both calls.
West Ham have leapfrogged 利物浦 into third after a barnstorming game at the London Stadium. Klopp congratulated the victors for the ruthlessness they showed from set pieces and on the counter-attack but he felt the game was shaped ultimately by the manner in which his side fell behind after four minutes and the decision not to send off Aaron Cresswell for his challenge on Jordan Henderson shortly afterwards.
West Ham took the lead via an Alisson own goal, resulting from the goalkeeper’s failure to deal an inswinging corner from Pablo Fornals.
The visiting players immediately protested against the decision, insisting to Pawson that Alisson had been fouled by Angelo Ogbonna as the pair rose to meet Fornals’s delivery. But after a VAR check conducted by Attwell it was decided the goal should stand, despite replays suggesting Ogbonna had collided with Alisson as he tried and failed to punch the ball away with his left arm which, as a result, drifted into the net via his thumb.
“It was a clear foul on Alisson,” Klopp said. “When you see the dynamic of the whole situation, how close they [Ogbonna and Alisson] are to each other, how can that not be a foul? The decision is really strange.”
Cresswell’s challenge on Henderson was also checked by VAR and looked set to lead to a red card, given the reckless nature with which West Ham’s left-back connected with the Liverpool captain’s knee. Yet a foul was not even given.
“It’s a clear red card,” Klopp said. “Yes he [Cresswell] touched the ball but if it’s a reckless challenge it doesn’t matter if you touch the ball. You cannot got high up like that. There are too many things where it is ‘let’s see what VAR is saying’ and we have a problem with clear and obvious mistakes because whoever we have for VAR hides behind referees. This was a big problem for us today.”
For David Moyes this was a first managerial victory against Liverpool in the 超级联赛. The hosts had to show resilience having conceded an equaliser, via a Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick, just before half-time. It was a blow for West Ham but they responded brilliantly, taking the lead again via Fornals’s strike on 67 minutes and sealing the win via Kurt Zouma’s header, from another corner, soon after. “Liverpool played some great stuff, but we dug in,” Moyes said. “I want us to challenge whichever teams are in the top four, I have laid that down to the players.”