Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s demand for a replay against Tottenham has been shot down by Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery. Klopp is still furious that Luis Diaz’s goal was not allowed to stand in the Reds’ 2-1 defeat last week, despite a grovelling apology and explanation from the PGMOL.
VAR Darren England mistakenly believed that the on-field decision had been to award Diaz’s strike. But the assistant referee had in fact ruled it out for offside, with England’s “check complete” announcement inadvertently confirming the erroneous outcome.
Despite Liverpool not making a formal request to replay the match, Klopp believes it is the only fair way to decide the Premier League contest. Spurs went on to win 2-1 thanks to Joel Matip’s late own goal.
Klopp said on Wednesday: “Something like this never happened, so that is why I think a replay is the right thing to do.”
However, Villa tactician Emery has told the German to just accept the mistake and move on. The Spaniard pointed out that there were bigger errors before VAR’s introduction and there is little precedent for replays.
“Before when we didn’t have VAR, there were a lot of mistakes – more than now,” Emery said ahead of Villa’s Europa League clash with Zrinjski.
“Now I can accept some mistakes in VAR. There are only a few… small mistakes. Of course for Liverpool it was a big mistake in the last match against Tottenham but we have to accept because before, without VAR, there were more and more and more.
“I listened to the conversation between the referees, because it’s popular, and they were concerned about their mistake but they couldn’t react. They had started playing again. It’s a mistake. I accept it. Of course, for Liverpool it is more difficult.
“For Jurgen too it’s more difficult but I accept it. I know before VAR came in there were more mistakes than now. But you have to accept it like before if there is a mistake. So no, no (to a replay). You have to accept it like before, when we were without VAR.”
On Tuesday, the PGMOL released the audio of the conversation between the officials, confirming that England had mistaken the on-field decision. The referees’ body announced that it would enhance the language used by officials to improve clarity.