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Liverpool express concern over the Premier League’s differing VAR explanations

Everton v Liverpool – Premier League – Goodison Park
(Image credit: Catherine Ivill)

Liverpool are understood to be concerned by the confusing and contradictory messaging emanating from the Premier League in the wake of the VAR controversies in Saturday’s Merseyside derby.

The club contacted the Premier League after the 2-2 draw asking for a review of the two major decisions: Jordan Pickford’s challenge on Virgil Van Dijk – which will rule the Dutchman out for some time as he requires knee surgery – and the added-time Jordan Henderson goal which was struck off.

Liverpool want to know why Pickford’s reckless tackle was not considered for a red card just because the defender had been ruled offside by a replay.

They were also puzzled about the mechanics which saw Sadio Mane ruled offside in the build-up to Henderson’s goal, specifically which part of the Senegal forward’s body caused the infringement as replays were inconclusive to say the least.

Everton v Liverpool – Premier League – Goodison Park

Jordan Henderson cannot hide his disappointment after thinking he had scored a late winner against Everton only for his effort to be ruled out for offside after a VAR check.

On the Pickford challenge the PA news agency understands video official David Coote did not check for a potential red card despite having the power to do so and called ‘check complete’ once he had ruled on the offside.

However, there have since been differing accounts offering explanations as to how both decisions were arrived at and that has led to Liverpool expressing further concerns privately.

While not calling into the question of the integrity of officials, the club believe it is crucial to have more transparency around how and why the outcomes were determined for the integrity of the game for everyone and the safety of players.

Conflicting versions of events, it is understood, have left Liverpool officials deeply troubled, with their concerns heightened as they await the result of Van Dijk’s meeting with a consultant on Sunday to determine the extent of his injury.