Jurgen Klopp shares candid thoughts on controversial decision of Martin Odegaard’s handball during Liverpool vs Arsenal

Liverpool hosted Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal at Anfield in Merseyside for the Premier League Matchday 18 fixture. The two table-toppers clashed in a fierce rivalry that ended in a 1-1 draw, resulting in both teams sharing a point on Saturday. Following the game, Jurgen Klopp’s side slid down to second place in the league.

The visitors matched the hosts in an evenly contested match, with the home crowd doing their part to create a tough atmosphere for the Gunners in response to Jurgen Klopp’s appeals for being energetic ahead of this fixture. The never-ending challenges with VAR persist for Liverpool’s boss, adding to his ongoing complaints about the technology.

Jurgen Klopp reacts to Martin Odegaard’s handball

Liverpool’s challenges were marked by VAR-related issues and unfavorable decisions from their September clash against Tottenham. Jurgen Klopp’s team faced the denial of a valid goal and two red cards in the Liverpool-Tottenham fixture, following a series of VAR blunders that resulted in the Reds experiencing their first defeat of the season.

In the match, Liverpool fell behind early, with Gabriel’s towering header putting the Gunners in front at 1-0. The hosts responded as Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah’s combination clicked again on the right flank, with the Egyptian left-footed strike leveling the scoreline.

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Via-The Mirror

A significant talking point arose in a different scenario involving Salah and Arsenal’s captain when a clear penalty call was apparent. Martin Odegard found himself fortunate as the referee dismissed the evident handball in the box. Subsequently, the VAR check supported the initial on-field decision. 

Jurgen Klopp, expressing his perplexity in the post-match discussion, raised questions about the controversial call. He said, “The penalty situation is weird, I don’t know if the ref can see it, but you look at it and I’m not sure how you can say it’s not a penalty. I’m pretty sure someone will explain to me why it wasn’t a handball, but I don’t know how.”

“I don’t say the ref can see it because I have no clue where he was at that moment. But that’s another question. When somebody sits in the office, how can they not conclude that it might be worth having another look at it,” he added further. 

Despite their challenges, the Merseyside club had successfully ascended to the top of the Premier League points table. However, two consecutive draws at home dropped them to second place in the standings with 39 points, trailing the league leaders, Arsenal, by a narrow one-point margin.

Kai Havertz denied a penalty vs Liverpool

Arsenal finds themselves on the table before playing the year’s two final league fixtures, a London derby against West Ham and Fulham in the upcoming Matchweek. In the match against Hammers, Mikel Arteta would be without their German midfielder Kai Havertz, who received an avoidable yellow card, leading to his suspension.

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Havertz’s foul on Liverpool’s Wataru Endo resulted in his fifth yellow card of the season. In the second half of the match, the midfielder was part of a penalty claim dismissed by the VAR, involving Liverpool’s right-back as Alexander Arnold’s challenges brought the 24-year-old down in the box. However, following a VAR check, the decision stood.

Ashu Ranjeet

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