Jurgen Klopp has outlined why he believes Liverpool was rightfully awarded a penalty against Watford.
The Reds defeated the Hornets 2-0 to move to the top of the Premier League table ahead of Manchester City’s match against Burnley at 3 p.m.
Thanks to a cross from stand-in right-back Joe Gomez, Diogo Jota put the home side ahead in the first half. After Mohamed Salah was substituted, Fabinho stepped up and converted a penalty in the dying minutes of the game.
Watford’s Juraj Kucka was embroiled in a tussle with Jota during a corner, and appeared to bring the Portugal international down. On first viewing, referee Stuart Attwell did not react to the event, but VAR directed him to the pitch side monitor.
Klopp stated in his post-match press conference that he was unaware of the event and expressed his “astonishment” at the decision. The Liverpool manager, on the other hand, believes that Kucka’s challenge was deserving of a penalty.
“I didn’t see the situation back, so I inquired and was told it was in the second post area, but I hadn’t seen it yet,” Klopp said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched football games throughout my life and said, ‘That has to be a penalty,’ because that shouldn’t be permitted.’
“Why are you grappling in the 18-yard box if the ball is going there or not?” We all want to see goals, and if we say you have to defend set-pieces lawfully, you’ll see more goals.
“Whether or not the ball is in play, if you take someone down and bring them down, it’s a penalty.” This is how I’ve always seen it. I haven’t seen it returned, but the referee going to look at the screen startled me.”