Everton hero Andy Gray makes ‘sorry’ Liverpool VAR claim as statement issued

Luis Diaz. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Luis Diaz. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Andy Gray admitted that he felt sympathy for Liverpool after they were embroiled in VAR controversy during their 2-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds fell to their maiden defeat of the season in north London at the weekend. Yet when the game was goalless, having already had Curtis Jones dismissed following a VAR review, Jurgen Klopp's men had a clear goal denied. Luis Diaz was initially flagged offside but replays showed he was in a legal position when latching on to Mo Salah's pass. However, Darren England - who was on duty at Stockley Park - failed to overturn the decision which was branded a "a significant human error" by referees association the PGMOL.

Speaking on beIN Sport, Gray - a former Everton striker - was baffled why Diaz did not break the deadlock for Liverpool. He said: "He's at least a metre offside. It's not even close.

"We can see by the naked eye that it's onside. They should have been able to clarify that within 30 seconds, a minute max. When it’s as straight as that, as easy and obvious as that, VAR should be able to produce the pictures that show he was onside. The goal should have stood.

“It’s not often I feel sorry for Liverpool, you'll know that but you have to feel for them here. They were a wee bit unlucky with Curtis Jones being sent off but I don't have an argument with him being sent off."

Liverpool would soon fall behind after Son Heung-min opened the scoring for Tottenham but Cody Gakpo levelled in first-half stoppage time. The Reds would then be reduced to nine men in the second period when Diogo Jota was given two yellow cards. And as Liverpool defended doggedly, Spurs would finally find a breakthrough in the 96th minute when Joel Matip turned into his own net.

In a club statement, Liverpool will now 'explore the range of options available' after the loss. It read: “Liverpool Football Club acknowledges PGMOL’s admission of their failures last night. It is clear that the correct application of the laws of the game did not occur, resulting in sporting integrity being undermined. 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.

“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.”