Liverpool icon Ray Houghton has given his thoughts on the controversial VAR incident in today’s Merseyside derby draw, in conversation with talkSPORT.
The Reds took on Everton at Goodison Park and played out a 2-2 draw, though Jurgen Klopp’s charges were denied a late goal.
Liverpool saw two contentious decisions go against them today, the first involving a Jordan Pickford foul on Virgil van Dijk that could’ve warranted a penalty and sending off.
VAR checked the incident for a possible offside and, once given, did not check for a possible red card for the sixth-minute challenge, which saw the Dutchman forced out of the game.
Liverpool had taken the lead three minutes earlier through Sadio Mane, but Michael Keane equalised in the 19th minute.
The second half saw Mohamed Salah put the Reds in front again, only for the prolific Dominic Calvert-Lewin to draw Everton level again.
Carlo Ancelotti’s charges finished the game with ten men after Richarlison was sent off for a reckless foul on Thiago Alcantara, and then came arguably the main controversy of the game.
Mane received Thiago’s pass and picked out Jordan Henderson for a goal that Pickford should’ve kept out, only for the Senegal ace to be deemed offside and the goal chalked off.
“Oh my goodness,” Houghton told talkSPORT. “I’m just looking at Jurgen Klopp in his technical area, and he’s laughing! He’s actually laughing, it’s incredible!
“I’m looking at the monitor and it is very, very tight. I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you how he’s offside, I thought he was on.
“We had everything today, we had four goals, we had a sending off and we had VAR having an input as well over whether it was or wasn’t a goal.
“For the amount of games we’ve had here at Goodison where we’ve had drab 0-0s, today was an exciting game for Merseyside and it shows how far Everton have come as a side.
“For Liverpool, they got over that 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa, I thought it was cracking game to watch, absolutely brilliant. But I’m shocked by that decision.”
At first glance, suggested Mane appeared level alongside the last Everton man, but he was apparently offside by the narrowest of margins.
Indeed, Keith Hackett felt the goal should have stood, telling Caught Offside that “the hand/arm up to the underside of the armpit is not a part of the body that can score.
“The cameras have speeds of up to 50 frames per second, so they do not have the level of accuracy to make this judgement. It’s a poor decision”.
Questions will once again be asked of VAR today in wake of the Pickford foul on Van Dijk and this late disallowed goal.
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