VAR, Substitutions and Lack of Options — 4 Key Points of Klopp’s Post-Brentford Press Conference


After Liverpool lost 3-1 to Brentford in their first game of 2023, at his post-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp criticized VAR, explained his three substitutions at half-time and much more.

Here are the four key moments of Klopp’s post-Brentford press conference…

Adamant’s 3rd goal Shouldn’t have stood

Klopp and the Liverpool players were furious with referee Stuart Attwell when Brentford’s third goal was not counted.

The boss believes that Brian Mbuemo should have been fined for pushing Ibrahima Konate, claiming that VAR is “hiding behind” a “clear and obvious” excuse.

“At the moment when we tried to settle the scores again, we conceded the third goal, which should not have been counted,” Klopp said.

“It’s a sprint at full throttle from two players, and when you get a push at that moment, you lose your balance and fall.

“Of course, it’s not a gross foul, but it’s just a small situation that you whistle, but Stuart Attwell saw it differently, and the VAR who checked it is hiding behind the phrase “it’s not clear and it’s not obvious.”

“the 2nd goal decided the outcome of the game”

There were enough warning signs for Liverpool. Having taken the lead thanks to Konate’s own goal, Brentford did not score two goals later in the first half.

The Reds were really on the verge when Yoan Wissa eventually doubled the home team’s advantage, and Klopp believes that this was the decisive moment in the game.

“We didn’t wake up when they came out against our back line again and the second goal decided the outcome of the game,” Klopp said.

“The second goal decided the outcome of the game, because coming out of the break and equalizing the score was much more pleasant than just the first goal.”

Van Dijk as a precaution

When Virgil van Dijk was one of the three substitutes made at half-time, the question was on everyone’s lips whether he was injured or it was a tactical decision.

The answer was probably somewhere in the middle. Van Dijk felt discomfort in his hamstring, and despite the fact that he felt he could continue, Klopp took the decision out of his hands.

“Virgil felt the muscle a little bit, but he said he was fine and he was very good at these things, but I didn’t want to take any chances,” Klopp explained.

“The physiologists looked very pleased with it, but I don’t think it’s an injury, I think he just felt the tension.

“The other two things were tactical. We could have brought in Naby, who I thought showed a really good game, and Robbo, who was exactly what we needed, with such speed behind. That was the reason for these changes.”

There are not many options for changes

Klopp also suggested that he would like to have more players on his bench capable of changing the rules of the game.

Curtis Jones and Fabio Carvalho were the only real attacking options he could use against Brentford. Cody Gakpo should be ready to face Wolves on Saturday, but it’s clear the boss believes injuries remain a problem.

“We have a lot of players unavailable at the moment,” he added.

“You can see that with our changes, we can’t throw different strikers to give someone a rest. They all pretty much have to fight.”


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