London (AP) – A high class derby, a solid performance from Liverpool FC, and yet Jürgen Klopp was ultimately extremely frustrated.
“It’s getting harder and harder to accept that,” complained the coach after the bitter 2: 2 (1: 1) at Everton, where a questionable offside decision from the video referee has stole the victory from the English football champions. “I’m really a VAR fan,” said Klopp, who has also lost two of the best players, “but you expect the decisions to be correct, especially when it comes to offside.”
There was also frustration among two German Premier League stars in London: Despite their first league goals for Chelsea, German internationals Timo Werner and Kai Havertz couldn’t cheer. Because in the 3: 3 (2: 1) against Southampton FC, Chelsea’s defense sometimes seemed completely out of place. “A bad day for us,” summed up Havertz, who was also self-critical.
At Liverpool, Klopp saw the video referee to blame. He did not give Jordan Henderson’s goal in the stoppage time as Sadio Mané would have been sidelined shortly before. However, this was not clearly visible in the TV footage. Commentators were irritated. Liverpool FC have requested a statement from the league. “Sometimes they bend the lines,” Henderson joked to Sky Sports, risking repercussions himself.
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s difficult entry against Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk also caused problems. “For me that was a clear sanction,” Klopp said and complained that in this case, the video evidence was not used. “I think the fault should have been watched, but it didn’t happen.”
The otherwise robust Van Dijk was examined in hospital that evening and a diagnosis was still pending on Sunday. In addition to the defender, new signing Thiago is also threatened with a longer break. The former Bayern star was injured in a foul by Richarlison, who saw red for it. Shortly before the Champions League kicked off on Wednesday at Ajax Amsterdam, there was two bad news for Klopp.
After all, two weeks after the 2-7 debacle at Aston Villa, he was happy with his team’s reaction. “That’s what I wanted to see,” said the coach, who celebrated a goal from Mané (3rd) and Liverpool’s 100th goal from Mohamed Salah (72nd). Michael Keane (19th) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (81st) each equalized for leaders Everton. Klopp still thought: “It was the best away derby we’ve played since I’ve been at Liverpool.”
At FC Chelsea, after Michael Ballack, Marko Marin, André Schürrle and Antonio Rüdiger, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have joined the list of German Premier League scorers. In his fifth match at Chelsea, Werner even scored a brace (15/28).
“We had a good 42 minutes,” Havertz said, “but then I made a mistake.” With his loss of the ball he initiated the first goal conceded, but those responsible for the missed victory were mainly Chelsea’s weak defense and goalkeeper Kepa. The 80 million euro man made serious mistakes again.
Chelsea’s new lead thanks to Havertz’s first goal lasted a good half hour. Then Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard (90 + 2) ruined Chelsea’s dress rehearsal for the Champions League game against Sevilla FC on Tuesday. “Now we have to pull ourselves together,” Havertz warned, “hope it works better next time.”