Jurgen Klopp Laments VAR Calls After Joe Gomez Handball Against Manchester City
Joe Gomez conceded the penalty with a handball | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp refused to comment specifically on the penalty incident in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Sunday, but talked once again about the strangeness of the current handball law.

Liverpool’s Joe Gomez conceded a first-half penalty after a Kevin De Bruyne cross hit his arm at the Etihad Stadium.

While De Bruyne missed the subsequent spot-kick, which was awarded after a VAR check, the decision generated yet another talking point for the ongoing debate about changes to the handball laws, which have helped ramp up penalty numbers in 2020/21.

Just who is to blame for the handball rule?

• Joey from FRIENDS?

• Cricket?

• Mike Dean?

We’ve looked at all of the possibilities. ?

— 90min (@90min_Football) October 2, 2020

Speaking in his press conference after the draw, Klopp insisted he hadn’t seen the incident clearly but hinted at his displeasure with the changes to the interpretation of the law in general.

“I didn’t see it yet,” the Liverpool manager said, via the Echo. “But I don’t think it is too important.

“It sounds to me that it is not 100% clear but I can’t say anything because I didn’t see it. I saw only Joe’s back at that moment when the ball hit him.

“Handball, offside, all these things, I don’t know why we constantly talk about it and not the people who can make a difference.

Is the new handball rule killing the game? ? pic.twitter.com/8NOQCChdV1

— 90min (@90min_Football) October 2, 2020

“Maybe they are the only people who think it is exactly right and we are the only ones who don’t.

“I saw yesterday another offside with an armpit [Patrick Bamford vs Crystal Palace]. I can’t wait for the first time a player scores a goal with the armpit!”

Gomez meanwhile admitted his frustration at the decision post-match, insisting he could do little to get out the way of the ball.

Joe Gomez is the latest player to be penalised under the new handball interpretation | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

“On a personal note it’s frustrating,” Liverpool’s number 12 said, via the Daily Mail.

“Everyone knows the power De Bruyne can hit the ball with. In that moment I’m just running towards the goal. I haven’t made an attempt to handle the ball. 

“I’ve got to accept the decision. For me it was a natural running position. It just hit my hand. There wasn’t much I could do about it.

Correct call, ludicrous rule.

— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 8, 2020

“Putting your hands behind your back is not a natural way to defend. It’s frustrating when the referee goes and looks over at the incident in slow motion. 

“At some point you have to look at the game in real time. Judge a scenario for what it is.

“When a team has a counter-attack if a player has the ball you’re not going to run with your hands behind your back. You have to look at the scenario with some common sense.”

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