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Careless Liverpool do not deserve top-four finish, Jürgen Klopp admits – The Guardian

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https://amp.theguardian.com/football/2021/apr/24/careless-liverpool-not-deserve-top-four-finish-jurgen-klopp-newcastle-champions-league

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Liverpool

  • Liverpool manager says: ‘I didn’t see us deserve it today’
  • Steve Bruce lambasts ‘crazy’ VAR ruling out Callum Wilson goal

Jürgen Klopp said Liverpool did not deserve to qualify for the Champions League on the evidence of a careless display against Newcastle that led Steve Bruce to accuse “laughable” VAR of damaging the Premier League as a spectacle.

Liverpool benefited from a draconian VAR decision to disallow Callum Wilson’s 92nd-minute goal for handball only to concede again in the 95th minute when Joe Willock, another Newcastle substitute, scored via a deflection off Fabinho. The Premier League champions also squandered a host of chances to add to Mohamed Salah’s 20th league goal of the season and, having dropped two points to a late equaliser at Leeds on Monday, Klopp admitted his team had only themselves to blame for missing a chance to return to the top four.

“It is very tough to take but nobody knows that better than ourselves,” the Liverpool manager said. “We kept the game open for them. You better use your chances when you have them or they will come back again. That’s what happened and why Newcastle deserve a point.


“They scored a goal that was disallowed – it is the first present I can remember from VAR – but then we gave them another one.

“Why it happened, I don’t know. We had to keep the ball. In a specific way we don’t fight enough. Keep ourselves in a position where we dominate the game. We had 70% of the ball, we should have 80%. We created a lot of chances, didn’t score with them, so we have to create more. That is how it is. We don’t do that well at the moment. It feels like a defeat. If you deserve, you deserve it. I didn’t see us deserve it today, playing Champions League next year.”

Bruce was understandably delighted with his team’s reaction to the VAR decision and with a point that edges Newcastle closer to safety. But the application of VAR is, he believes, making a mockery of the game and damaging it as a spectacle.

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“We have to do something about VAR, this rule. It ruins the spectacle,” the Newcastle manager said.

“What an absolutely ridiculous decision not to allow the goal. We are going to have to look at this crazy rule because VAR is becoming laughable with this letter-of-the-law interpretation. It doesn’t make sense. We have just closed down a Super League with the opinions of lots of people. Can we not do the same in the Premier League? VAR was brought in for clear and obvious errors but it has become a nonsense and not a great spectacle.”

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