Jurgen Klopp's replay demand could prove damaging for Liverpool

  • Jurgen Klopp wants his side's game against Tottenham replayed after VAR error
  • Luis Diaz's goal was wrongly ruled out for offside in Liverpool's last-minute 2-1 defeat
  • Klopp's words could end up having a negative impact on his harmonious squad

Jurgen Klopp has suggested Liverpool's game with Tottenham should be replayed
Jurgen Klopp has suggested Liverpool's game with Tottenham should be replayed / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

It was truly the most devastating way to lose a football match.

After all the blood, sweat and tears that Liverpool's players expelled during the course of the match, they came away with absolutely nothing from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.

Joel Matip's 96th-minute own goal was the killer blow. It was Pedro Porro's cross that the centre-back - who had arguably been Liverpool's man of the match up until that point - shinned into the roof of his own net to make it 2-1 to Tottenham in the dying seconds.

It was the definitive moment of an enthralling match, but it now feels rather obsolete given the frenzy that has followed. The chaos that has ensued has come as a result of yet another VAR error, although this one is arguably the worst we have seen in English football.

Curtis Jones had already seen red when Luis Diaz rifled a fierce effort beyond Guglielmo Vicario with the game between Tottenham and Liverpool still goalless, but the Colombian's effort was ruled out for offside. Only it wasn't offside - as you likely already know - with the video assistant referee Darren England making a 'significant human error' by denying the Reds a legitimate goal.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has since suggested a replay of the match is needed to maintain sporting integrity, although the Premier League is highly unlikely to approve such an idea.

However, while being justifiably enraged by the error, Klopp's inability to let the matter go could prove damaging for his Liverpool side. Perhaps it's some convoluted deflection tactic from the German coach, but one that serves little purpose.

After all, what has been lost in the narrative is just how brilliantly Liverpool played on Saturday evening. The Reds finished the game with nine men after Diogo Jota also got sent off in the second-half, yet Tottenham needed a huge slice of stoppage-time luck to break through an incredibly resolute visiting defence.

The Reds, who have looked susceptible at the back despite their strong start to the campaign, defended remarkably given they had fewer players on the pitch from the 26th minute onwards.

Alisson was in typically sensational form, pulling out two wonderful second-half saves. Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson looked solid at full-back, dealing well with Richarlison and the ever-present Dejan Kulusevski. Matip had performed wonderfully at the heart of the defence alongside Virgil van Dijk, the latter looking closer to his imperious best.

In front of that five, there was a bank of four for much of the game. Alexis Mac Allister and the outstanding Dominik Szoboszlai worked tirelessly as a two-man midfield, with Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah offering a similarly relentless energy in both halves.

Juergen Klopp
Klopp has refused to let Saturday's result go / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Despite playing with ten, Liverpool still created opportunities. Gakpo's goal was a thing of beauty, while Diaz, who obviously had a legitimate goal disallowed, also came close with a sliding effort before the break. Every time the likes of Salah and Diaz raced in behind, Spurs looked dangerously open.

With nine on the pitch, Liverpool were arguably even better. Klopp made the right substitutions at the right moments. The then back five cleared, blocked and dived in front of every cross and shot, showcasing the kind of resilience that has been somewhat missing for the Reds in the opening weeks of the new campaign.

As Klopp himself alluded to after the final whistle, his side did themselves proud, regardless of the result. However, the narrative has now shifted, and Liverpool aren't able to shift it back.

Klopp, who was remarkably calm by his standards after the game, continues to detract from his team's performance by feeding into the pantomime. What was arguably Liverpool's strongest showing of the season given the circumstances is now nothing more than a sidebar, with the atmosphere around Anfield unnecessarily tense.

Perhaps Klopp is trying to instil an 'us against the world' mentality in his players. It's not a bad tactic, but Saturday's performance has shown that Liverpool's 'mentality monsters' are starting to find their feet again, with a new-found sense of belief and purpose in a young and hungry squad.

All this talk and outrage will only serve as a distraction to this Liverpool team going forward.