Jürgen Klopp claims official admitted Liverpool error as Darwin Núñez goal celebration clarified


Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp says it was the wrong decision to send off Virgil van Dijk in the 2-1 win against Newcastle United on Sunday.

Klopp believes that the red card shown to Van Dijk was unwarranted, stating that there was minimal contact between the defender and Newcastle striker Alexander Isak. Despite the controversial decision after 28 minutes, the Reds grabbed a dramatic 2-1 victory with Darwin Núñez superbly netting two late goals.

Klopp's initial lack of celebration for Núñez's winner was due to uncertainty regarding an offside call which was later confirmed to be in Liverpool's favour.

Speaking about Van Dijk's red card — which referee John Brooks was not asked to review by the VAR — Klopp said: "I don't think it is a red card, there's pretty much no contact, very little. But what can I say? The decision is like this and I cannot change it. Would I whistle it in a training game? Definitely not but there are reasons why I’m not a referee and they are."

The match was not without controversy for both teams. Newcastle believed that Trent Alexander-Arnold should have been sent off early in the game after an altercation with Anthony Gordon, who scored the hosts' goal.

However, the referee only issued a yellow card to Alexander-Arnold for kicking the ball away. Klopp commented on this incident, saying: "There is a foul on Trent Alexander-Arnold which is not given, clear in front of me, the ref doesn't give it and then Trent kicks the ball away, his fault, bang, yellow."

Klopp also revealed that he had a discussion with the fourth official regarding the challenge on Alexander-Arnold and claimed that even the official agreed it should have been a foul, reports the Liverpool ECHO. Despite these contentious moments, the Reds managed to maintain their composure and secure an impressive win.

Klopp refrained from celebrating Núñez's winning goal until it was confirmed that there was no offside. The German manager explained: "Nowadays I don't celebrate these goals anymore because I was not sure if there was an offside.

"I was pretty sure there wasn't but then a minute or so later when the VAR check was over, the boys behind on the touchline were really celebrating. Then I felt massive relief."

Klopp also praised his side's resilience after Van Dijk's sending off, adding: "The way we played after the red card gave us the feeling we can do something here if we don’t concede (a second goal). If you can defend with passion and play with an idea, then we have a chance to get a point here. And we have a point and a win as well."

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