Liverpool have asked the Premier League to hold an investigation into two hugely controversial VAR decisions that blighted the Merseyside derby.
Reds officials have made a formal approach, with a demand for a review of how the video assistant referee system was implemented during the game against Everton, where a last gasp Jordan Henderson ‘goal’ was deemed offside.
VAR official David Coote declined to look at an incident early in the game when Blues keeper Jordan Pickford was involved in a violent collision with Virgil van Dijk, which saw the visiting defender injured and taken off.
Coote also deemed that Sadio Mane was offside after what appeared to be a Henderson winning goal two minutes into stoppage time, despite the only evidence produced seeming to show the Liverpool player was in fact level.
Now Liverpool have asked for answers and a full review of just how Coote implemented – or failed to – the full range of technology at his disposal.
In particular, we understand Anfield club officials have asked the Premier League to provide answers on why the VAR failed to even take a look at Pickford’s x-rated challenge on van Dijk, and subsequently failed to take action, when many called for a red card.
The Premier League guideline on such incidents is clear. The VAR is urged to refer any “direct red-card incidents…where the VAR may intervene in cases of 'clear and obvious errors' or 'serious missed incidents', including when play is stopped.”
Van Dijk was ruled offside after he was clattered without the ball by the Everton keeper, who also seemed to hook his trailing leg around the defender in a deliberate fashion.
That should ensure the VAR at least referred the incident and checked it, but Coote did not ask for a review.
Liverpool have also asked for clarity on which part of Mane’s body – exactly – was deemed to be offside, and at which moment the VAR decided to freeze the frame.
That is crucial because the only evidence produced by the Premier League after the game, seemed only to suggest Mane’s arm was beyond the line, and therefore not offside.
There were also questions about the moment of freeze frame, with the same video appearing to suggest it was stopped after the ball was delivered.
Van Dijk was sent for scans after the game, on the knee injury which forced him out of the contest.
And midfielder Thiago also needed scans on a knee injury sustained after a brutal challenge by Everton’s Richarlison, who was dismissed for the offence.
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