Wolves are just five points shy of the fourth spot in the Premier League.
Premier League table-toppers Liverpool defeated a spirited Wolves side by one goal to nil, in a game that restored their 13-point lead which involved a VAR controversy. The Video Assistant Referee was first called into action in the 42nd minute when Sadio Mane slotted the ball past Rui Patricio after it was chested into his path by Adam Lallana.
The goal was initially disallowed for handball by referee Anthony Taylor, whose decision was the overruled by VAR as the ball was adjudged to have come off Lallana’s shoulder.
In stoppage time in the first half, Pedro Neto latched onto a cross from Jonny, bringing Wolves back on level terms. Or so he thought. VAR stepped in once again, to disallow the goal over a contentious offside call. Wolves boss, Nuno Espirito Santo was booked for his protestations at the touchline.
The controversy only worsened when it was realized that Virgil Van Dijk had allegedly handled the ball in the build-up to the opener. Conor Cody, the Wolves skipper claimed that Taylor had refused to consider the foul as it was too far back, despite Van Dijk’s pass being the penultimate one in the lead-up to the goal.
The side from Wolverhampton failed to capitalize on their late chances, ensuring that Liverpool secured their 18th win of 19 Premier League matches.
What Nuno Said
The Wolves boss has been the victim of more than one contentious VAR call in the past but has scarcely voiced his opinion to the media. However, the Portuguese manager was more forthcoming this time around.
“I’m sorry but today I don’t. I speak before but today I don’t want to speak about VAR, it’s not about that. I don’t want to mention anything about VAR.
“Just one detail… The decisions are being made by a referee that is miles away from here at a TV screen. He doesn’t feel the game, he doesn’t get it. He’s not at the game.”
“I’m a coach, I have to think about my own things. But what is happening is what we mentioned before.
“In Anfield, fantastic team, club, fans and stadium, and we are celebrating a non-goal. Come on.”
What Jurgen Klopp Said
The Liverpool manager has been one of the lucky ones this season, seeing a number of contentious VAR calls go the way of his side.
Klopp commented to Birmingham Mail: “It didn’t count but it brought a reaction. They were really angry with us as well. That’s how they came out of the dressing room. ‘Everybody is against us so let’s fightback’.
“They pressed a little bit higher and we were not able to adapt to that immediately. “
“We had chances to score goals but they were a massive threat on the counter-attack. Neto and Jota were on their bikes immediately. And then we scored a goal.
“Nuno, I think, was not happy with the VAR procedure. For me, I was surprised the whistle came for handball because I thought it was a clear shoulder.”
What the Fans Said
— Woots (@Woots74) December 29, 2019
There no point in scoring anymore cus you cant celebrate. A var decision overturned gets more of a celebration than a goal.
its time to quit#VAR #football #PremierLeague #joke #GameOver #LIVWOL #liverpool #wolves #wwfc
— Paul Jones (@PaulJones0786) December 29, 2019
So that ‘offside’ was “clear and obvious” then was it? #VAR is a complete joke and ruining football. Is there any point for the referee to even be on the pitch – might as well just use VAR for every single decision! #LIVWOL #wwfc #itsnotfootballanymore
— Kathryn Whyle (@KathrynWhyle) December 29, 2019
— Hey Citizen (@heycitizen) December 29, 2019
— David Shirley (@DavidShly) December 29, 2019
— 🐺 WeAreWolves.com 🐺 (@WeAreWolves_com) December 29, 2019
Watching on TV it's really hard to make any kind of case for 'clear and obvious' here. VAR is the football equivalent of Dementors sucking the soul out of football. #wwfc
— Stuart Scott (@m3topaz) December 29, 2019
— gêørgë (@GlWwfc) December 29, 2019