Liverpool have been slapped with a disciplinary fine by the FA for failing to control their players during their controversial 2-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. The Reds finished the game with nine men after Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota were both sent for early showers.
Jones was shown a straight red for a studs-up tackle on Yves Bissouma while Jota picked up two yellow cards, both for incidents involving Destiny Udogie. Liverpool are set to launch an appeal against the decision to send off Jones, who is now facing a three-match ban for serious foul play.
There was a great deal of debate over whether Jones deserved to have been sent off with Gary Neville among those who vehemently disagreed with the call.
“A yellow is right but they are checking it,” said Neville on the commentary for Sky Sports. “No, no, no. I know when you’re doing someone, I’ve done it myself, he wasn’t there to do someone. They’re showing the end motion which looks bad, but that’s not how it’s ended up there, his foot just slipped off the ball.
“It’s not a red card but he’s going to get one and it’s going to ruin the game probably.” Meanwhile, former Spurs winger Andros Townsend felt it was the correct call under “the letter of the law”.
Jones’s red card wasn’t the only controversy of course. Luis Diaz had a goal wrongfully chalked off by VAR with the PGMOL later admitting that a “significant human error” led to the blunder to rule it out. But the error won’t save Liverpool from being handed a £25,000 fine for ill-discipline – the usual punishment for any side that accumulates six or more cards in a single match.
The Reds have now been informed that they must pay the £25,000 fine after having received eight cards in north London on Saturday. This will come as a real kick in the teeth after what has been an incredibly frustrating 48 hours for the Merseyside club.
In a statement released on Sunday, Liverpool voiced their displeasure with the level of officiating during the Premier League encounter. “We fully accept the pressures that match officials work under but these pressures are supposed to be alleviated, not exacerbated, by the existence and implementation of VAR,” the statement said.
“It is therefore unsatisfactory that sufficient time was not afforded to allow the correct decision to be made and that there was no subsequent intervention. That such failings have already been categorised as ‘significant human error’ is also unacceptable. Any and all outcomes should be established only by the review and with full transparency.
“This is vital for the reliability of future decision-making as it applies to all clubs with learnings being used to make improvements to processes in order to ensure this kind of situation cannot occur again. In the meantime, we will explore the range of options available, given the clear need for escalation and resolution.”