Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left frustrated on Monday night claiming that winger Sadio Mane should have been awarded a clear penalty by referee Andre Marriner after Liverpool fell to a 1-0 defeat against Southampton in the league.
The ‘Reds’ squandered a chance to go three points clear of second-placed Manchester United in the log standings.
Southampton striker Danny Ings put a dent in his former club’s title aspirations when he chipped the ball over Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker to give ‘Saints’ the lead just two minutes into the first half.
Senegalese ace Mane looked the most likely to pull one back for the visitors and he was brought down inside the box just before the hour mark by defender Kyle Walker-Peters, but Marriner waved play on and Video Assistant Referee (VAR) did not take a second look at the incident.
Speaking to the media after the game, Klopp said that from where he was positioned that was a clear penalty. “I turned around, we had a really good view of it. It looked like a clear penalty. I turned to the fourth official, he said ‘we checked already, no penalty’. That’s the 100 percent truth. They checked it already. We had the situation last year against Leicester with the penalty, and people say ‘Sadio Mane goes down too easily’,” said Klopp.
“If this boy went down easy, we could have had a penalty in this game and a stonewall penalty in the last game. But what Andre Marriner did with Sadio Mane tonight, I’m not sure that’s OK, to be honest.”
The Liverpool boss also took a dig at their rivals Manchester United saying they seem to be the ones getting more penalties than all other teams.
“We cannot change. I hear now that Man United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years. I have no idea if that’s my fault, or how that can happen. But it’s no excuse for the performance. We cannot change it, we have to respect the decisions. But we can change our performance. That’s our focus now,” he added.
Inconsistent results have been the biggest challenge for the champions, something the German mentor described as ‘’a rather rusty moment’’ that the team must overcome.
“We just have to fight through this and play through this,” he concluded.
Leaders Liverpool have struggled for form since their 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on December 19 with surprising draws at home to West Brom and at Newcastle coming before this defeat at St Mary’s Stadium.
This was Southampton’s first win since the 13th of December and the first time Ralph Hasenhuttl had taken points off Liverpool after losing in the previous six fixtures between the two sides. The victory clearly meant a lot to the Saints coach who appeared to be in tears shortly after the final whistle.
In reaction to the historic victory, the Austrian said.
“It’s the first time I took points against Jurgen, and he’s an amazing manager and it’s a fantastic team and we had our problems with injuries now. To do such a job today, I cannot be prouder of the work the guys put in,” said an emotional Hasenhuttl.
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By Prince Sobayeni