Jeremy Doku, Odegaard and All VAR Decisions That Have Gone Against Liverpool

Jeremy Doku, Odegaard and All VAR Decisions That Have Gone Against Liverpool

Martin Moses
updated at March 11, 2024 at 6:38 AM
In this article:
Jeremy Doku logo
J. Doku
Manchester City logoFBelgium logo
Alexis Mac Allister logo
A. Mac Allister
Liverpool logoMArgentina logo
Luis Diaz logo
L. Diaz
FC Porto logoFColombia logo
Nicolas Jackson logo
Chelsea logoFSenegal logo
English Premier League logo
ENG Premier League
Martin Odegaard logo
M. Odegaard
Arsenal logoMNorway logo
  • Jurgen Klopp was left fuming after Liverpool were denied a late penalty vs Manchester City
  • Jeremy Doku appeared to hit Alexis Mac Allister on the chest, but the VAR didn't intervene
  • Sports Brief takes a look at the series of other decisions that have gone against the Reds

After a disappointing 2022/2023 campaign, Liverpool have hit top form this season, chasing trophies on four fronts.

They have already secured the Carabao Cup and will play Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. The Reds are also expected to reach the Europa League quarter-finals, as they currently hold a healthy 5-1 advantage over Sparta Prague.

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool vs Manchester City, Jeremy Doku, Luis Diaz, wrong VAR calls, Nicolas Jackson, Martin Odegaard
Jurgen Klopp makes his point to the assistant referee during Liverpool's game against Manchester City on March 10. Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA.
Source: Getty Images

In what is Jurgen Klopp's final season at the club, Liverpool were at the top of the Premier League before a 1-1 draw against champions Manchester City saw Arsenal usurp them on goal difference. With Arsenal still yet to play Pep Guardiola's side, the momentum is still on Liverpool's side to win a second Premier League title for Klopp.

VAR decisions that have gone against Liverpool

But amid all the unprecedented quadruple charge, the Merseyside club have been hard done by contentious VAR decisions in the Premier League.

Sports Brief looks at the decisions that wrongly went against Liverpool and how they impacted the final result

1. vs Manchester City - Jeremy Doku challenge

The latest entrant to this list was Jeremy Doku's high-foot challenge on Alexis Mac Allister on the tail end of their clash against Manchester City on March 10.

The Belgian missed the ball with his foot landing on Mac Allister's chest. Referee Michael Oliver declined to give a penalty, with VAR Stuart Atwell rubberstamping the decision.

"This situation on all positions on the pitch is 100% a foul and a yellow card. He hit the ball but could only hit it because his foot was right there. If the ball is not there, he kills him. It's as easy as that. It's a penalty for all football people on the planet," said Klopp, as quoted by the Guardian.

The penalty could have given Liverpool a chance to extend their lead at the top of the table. Two points dropped.

2. vs Arsenal - Martin Odegaard handball

Arsenal's visit to Anfield on December 23 saw the Gunners take an early lead via a Gabriel Magalhaes corner. As the hosts looked for an equaliser, Arsenal skipper Martin Odegaard slipped and appeared to catch the ball NBA-style inside the area.

Those appeals were similarly waved off. Sports Brief has previously reported that the referees' body, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), explained that Odegaard's arm was moving towards his body after he slipped, not the ball.

Mohamed Salah managed to restore parity for the hosts later on, but Klopp's side were left wondering what could have been had the penalty been awarded. Two points dropped.

3. vs Tottenham - Luis Diaz's disallowed goal

Before their 3-1 defeat at the Emirates in early February, Liverpool's only other loss came in North London, when a high-flying Tottenham Hotspur beat them 2-1.

However, the trajectory of the game could have been different had the referee, Simon Hooper, and his VAR team communicated effectively.

A valid Luis Diaz goal was chalked off for offside, forcing the PGMOL to admit that a significant human error had occurred.

Liverpool released a scathing statement, promising to explore all options available. The decisions were made worse by two red cards for Liverpool and a stoppage-time winner from Joel Matip's own goal.

4. vs Chelsea - Nicolas Jackson's handball

On the opening day of the campaign, Chelsea and Liverpool treated neutrals to a riveting one-all draw at Stamford Bridge.

Axel Disasi cancelled out Luis Diaz's opening goal, but the visitors had penalty appeals waved away. Chelsea's striker Nicolas Jackson retreated to the box to defend a corner. The ball appeared to strike his hand as it went out for another corner.

The officials adjudged that Jackson's hands were in a normal position, and no penalty was given.

Why De Bruyne was substituted

Sports Brief has also reported that Pep Guardiola explained why he took off Kevin De Bruyne in their Anfield blockbuster.

With the champions requiring a goal to win the game, Guardiola opted to replace the Belgian with Mateo Kovacic.

De Bruyne did not take the decision kindly and spoke angrily to Guardiola and his technical bench.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
Jürgen KloppPep Guardiola