Jurgen Klopp took aim at referee Paul Tierney after Liverpool’s pulsating 2-2 draw with Tottenham, claiming Harry Kane could have broken Andy Robertson’s leg and football needs ‘objective’ officials.
Robertson was sent off late on for a hack on Emerson Royal but Kane was given only yellow for a reckless challenge on the Liverpool defender during the first half.
Kane had earlier put Spurs in front with his first home Premier League goal of the season before Liverpool turned the game around thanks to headers from Diogo Jota and Robertson.
Jurgen Klopp insisted Harry Kane should have been sent off in Liverpool’s draw at Tottenham
Kane slammed into Andy Robertson but avoided punishment, much to Klopp’s annoyance
Son-Heung min earned Tottenham a point with 16 minutes left following a mistake by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.
But Klopp insisted the ‘game could have been completely different with two key decisions in the first half.’
At the final whistle, he made a beeline for Tierney, appearing to tell the official: ‘I have no problems with any referees. Only you.’
Klopp said the challenge was ‘definitely’ worthy of a red card, and wanted VAR to intervene
He later added: ‘I really have no idea what his problem is with me. Honestly, I have no idea. I have no problem… you just need an objective ref who sees the situations and judges them and not opinions.’
Klopp was furious that Kane escaped a sending off after lunging in on Robertson, claiming: ‘That’s definitely a red card… if Andy’s foot is still on the ground his leg is broken.’
Sportsmail columnist Jamie Redknapp agreed, arguing: ‘It’s a red card. He’s reckless and out of control. The crowd were up, fever pitch. When you go in for a challenge, I’ve seen a lot of players sent off for less than that. Having a reputation, being England captain – these little things do help you.’
But the Spurs striker insisted: ‘I thought it was a strong tackle but I won the ball… even Andy (Robertson) said ‘You just caught my foot – I don’t think it was a foul.’ Sometimes, when you slow stuff down in football, it makes it look worse than what it is. That’s what VAR is there for.’
Diogo Jota went to ground inside the penalty area, but no penalty was given in the first half
The Liverpool boss, who was booked for dissent by Tierney, was also fuming after Jota was denied a first-half penalty following a clumsy barge by Emerson.
‘Mr Tierney told me he thought that Jota stopped on purpose, he wanted to get hit. If you watch it back that is a very exclusive view,’ Klopp said. ‘It was a clear pen but he thought it was not clear. Wow.’
Klopp did at least have few complaints after VAR Chris Kavanagh asked Tierney to look again at Robertson’s challenge on Emerson.
‘Yes you can give a red card there. It’s not the smartest and he knows that,’ Klopp conceded.
‘He’s a good boy but he lost it a bit. So that you can give. But that was proof that VAR was there today – because before that we thought he might not be in his office.’
Klopp shared his disbelief over the moment and said he is not able to ‘understand’ the decision
Still, though, the Liverpool manager lamented: ‘That’s obviously two wrong decisions by (Tierney), and one right – all three against us.’
Spurs were left feeling hard done by, too, on a night of high drama after Mohamed Salah appeared to handle the ball in the build-up to Robertson’s goal.
Boss Antonio Conte refused to be drawn into criticism of the officials, insisting he hadn’t seen back the tackles by Robertson and Kane or a possible penalty for a challenge on Dele Alli. ‘I think that it’s not right to comment on the ref’s decision after the game,’ he said. ‘It’s not good for anyone.’
But Conte did claim: ‘I can tell (you) that my staff said to me it was incredible to give the second goal because there is a clear handball from Salah.’
At full-time, a furious Klopp confronted referee Paul Tierney over the number of divisive calls