Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp slammed referee Stuart Attwell’s performance after Monday’s 3-1 defeat by Brentford, saying the hosts’ third goal was a “clear foul”.
The defeat was Liverpool’s first loss to Brentford in all competitions since 1938 and came from goals from Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo, plus an own goal from Ibrahima Konate.
Mbeumo’s decisive goal came in the 84th minute. The forward collected a long ball forward, had a light contact with Konate that sent the defender down and slid the ball home past Alisson.
Klopp said after the game that he couldn’t respect the goal, adding: “If you’ve ever played football and you’ve run a full sprint and you get a slight push you fall down because you can’t keep your balance, that’s it you can see that with Ibou (Konate).”
Asked by beIN Sports to speak to match officials about the decisions, Klopp said: “It’s actually just like talking to my microwave, you really don’t get an answer. It’s always the same.
“VAR hides behind the phrase ‘not clear and obvious’. The referee has to explain that.”
Klopp also criticized the Office of the physical nature of Brentford’s players during their attacking set pieces, telling Sky Sports they are “stretching the rules” when it comes to contact.
“I don’t expect anything in our favor but I expect holding is holding, pushing is pushing and fouling is fouling. There’s a reason Brentford are so successful at set pieces offensively, not defensively. There are things you can do in the other box.”
Brentford appeared to score three different times from a corner kick in the first half – two were ruled out for offside but Konate’s own goal stood.
“I’m not happy with the way we defended set pieces. We haven’t behaved perfectly but Brentford are stretching the rules at these moments. Of course you can now do that with the referees.
“Don’t get me wrong, that’s smart, but they do it. If you singled out all the situations you would find five fouls, but because it’s so messy nobody ends up seeing it. That’s what they do and it’s good, really, really good.”
When asked to respond to claims that his side were breaking the rules, Brentford head coach Thomas Frank said: “I think we have some very, very good umpires. We have four on the pitch and then a VAR space and I think scoring has never been more difficult.
“But of course I’m glad he praised us and it’s a credit to the good work we’re doing on our attacking set pieces.”
Klopp also lamented the missed chances Liverpool had to take an early lead, saying: “We started the game pretty well. We should have, maybe we should have been 2-0 up before they got the first corner. We fought back, but it was a lot more of a game they wanted than a game we wanted.
“We had moments in the second half and we knew we needed it again and again. We were then in a really good moment, but then we can’t push through. You could dictate it.
“The game was decided by the second goal, which is absolutely our fault. Of course we are not satisfied with the performance.”
The result put Brentford in seventh place in the Premier League table, just two points behind Liverpool in sixth place.
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