Right, that’s it for today’s blog. Here’s Barney Ronay’s report from the Amex. Bye!
This is an excellent point from Gary Naylor
“A big shift that VAR has brought in is that there was always a sense that an ‘ordinary’ foul was not enough for a penalty – hence the ‘soft penalty’. There’s a related point that people feel that intent is required for a penalty – but not for a foul elsewhere on the field. Now any foul is being given as a penalty as BT Sport appear to be saying. This is not a rule change, but a cultural shift, an alteration in normative behaviour by officials. Shifts like this are always uncomfortable because it feels underhand or undemocratic, but they happen all the time – as those without power in any culture will attest.”
More from Jurgen Klopp
“When we had a talk between the managers a week ago, most wanted five subs. Since then nothing happened. Chris Wilder or whoever says constantly than I am selfish. I think all the things he said show that he’s selfish. For example, if we have five subs today I take off Robbo to protect him and bring on Kostas Tsimikas.
“I only go for the broadcasters when we have to play Wednesday and 12.30pm on a Saturday. Only seven managers have a similar problem and they all agree. In this season it’s a bigger problem, and it’s not okay. We’ve had this slot three times. Look who else had it three times: nobody.”
This is brilliant, if slightly weird, TV. Klopp and Des Kelly are having a lively row.
Jurgen Klopp is fuming with BT Sport’s Des Kelly
“The two offsides I didn’t see, but our analyst said they were [correct]. The penalty? Mmyeah, it’s how it is. I think the decisions were right. [But Jordan Henderson said some of the Brighton players agreed it wasn’t a penalty] Look, you’re trying to create a headline at my cost again – you always do. If I say now it wasn’t a penalty… Don’t look like this! You try, always. I said it was a penalty and you’re not happy with that. What do you want to hear? Give your answer to yourself.
“The performance was very good. I couldn’t be more proud of the boys. We struggled a bit in the first half an hour with their balls in behind the defence. We got that sorted and in the second half that was fine. We had a few problems with energy but that was all. The situations around our goals, even the ones that were disallowed, were brilliant. In football you always need a little bit of luck. Today we didn’t have it.
“The day Mo Salah is smiling when he leaves the pitch, something is wrong. He has had Covid so we have to be careful. He doesn’t like [being subbed], I know that. [Is James Milner’s a hamstring injury?] Yeah, congratulations. Hamstring. Surprise. Ask Chris Wilder how we can avoid that.
“I don’t know how often I have to say it – you picked the 12.30pm kick-off. You. Not you personally. I’m not having a go at the broadcaster, I’m just saying how it is. It is really dangerous for the players.”
Jurgen Klopp’s post-match interview should be imbued with a certain belligerence. He was in a bad mood for most of the game, never mind after the penalty.
“You were right, Rob,” says Patrick Crumlish. “This Liverpool team doesn’t do hard-fought 1-0 wins.”
The more I see that Brighton penalty, the less sure I am. I’m not having that it was a clear and obvious error.
Here’s Danny Welbeck “It was a soft penalty, but we’ll take it. In today’s game, with VAR… I touched the ball before him and he kicked me before he kicked the ball.”
“This new sport of penaltyball is going places,” says Niall Mullen.
Full time: Brighton 1-1 Liverpool
Liverpool go top of the league, though they won’t feel like celebrating after a frustrating afternoon at the Amex Stadium. It was another VAR special, with two Brighton penalties and two disallowed goals for Liverpool. There were the usual injuries too – Maupay, Lallana and Milner all had to go off.
90+7 min Jahanbakhsh almost nicks it for Brighton with a shot that hits Phillips and deflects wide.
90+4 min Klopp was sarcastically, and aggressively, clapping the assistant referee after the penalty was given. I love Klopp but he’s a bit out of order there.
GOAL! Brighton 1-1 Liverpool (Gross 90+3 pen)
Gross rams the penalty straight down the middle!
Andy Robertson is not impressed. Jurgen Klopp is laughing.
90 min Welbeck nicked the ball away from Robertson, who kicked his foot a split-second later. I think it was probably a (very soft) foul, but I’m not so sure it’s a clear and obvious error.
89 min “Rob, I partially agree with you,” says Patrick Crumlish. “Liverpool don’t do 1-0 wins, no, but they do hard-fought single-goal victories. Last season they made a habit of it. It was City couldn’t do. When City when last year, it was by 3 or 4 goals, but they couldn’t eke out the tight wins. Liverpool beat Leicester 2-1, West Ham 3-2, Brighton 2-1, Bournemouth 2-1 last year, and that’s off the top of my head.”
Yeah, I meant the specific scoreline. They’re one of the best teams I’ve ever seen at coming from behind to win by a single goal.
88 min Gross’s corner is chested (!) down by Firmino in his own six-yard box and booted clear by one of his team-mates.
87 min Welbeck gets behind Phillips on the left side of the area. Phillips recovers really well to concede a corner.
87 min One-nil is never a safe lead, but a Brighton equaliser would be firmly against the run of play.
85 min “I don’t support five substitutes in a match, but I do think that a substituted player should be allowed back if a manager so chooses,” says Gary Naylor. “That would allow players to be protected if they feel a twinge in the knowledge that, if the game changes, they can return.”
That’s veering too close to Big Bash territory for my liking.
GOAL! Brighton 0-2 Liverpool (Mane 82)
That wrongly awarded free-kick leads to the second goal. Robertson curled it into the middle, where Mane planted a fine downward header past Ryan.
82 min White makes an extremely good tackle on Jota – and is booked for it.
81 min: Great chance for Brighton! March broke down the left and hit a terrific cross towards the unmarked Jahanbakhsh at the near post. He missed the header completely, and the unsighted Robertson kneed the ball over his own bar. Jahanbakhsh should have scored; Robertson almost did.
80 min Brighton have offered very little going forward since Connolly went off. Jahanbakhsh makes a promising break down the right but his cross is tidied up at the near post by Phillips.
79 min This Liverpool side don’t really do hard-fought 1-0 wins, but that’s what they are heading for today.