“If you like that sort of thing, watch wrestling.”
Jurgen Klopp was not happy with the refereeing during his side’s 2-0 victory against Burnley on Saturday.
The Liverpool manager complained about some of the tackles and challenges being made by Burnley, and how many of them went unpunished by the referee.
Speaking about some of the refereeing decisions that were made, and decisions that were not given, Klopp asked if the messaging to referees is currently clear.
Jurgen Klopp on Burnley challenges
He said: “I’m not 100 per cent sure if we are really going in the right direction with these kind of decisions. It feels like we go back 10 or 15 years back to when we said ‘oh, that was the football we wanted to see’. It’s just too dangerous.
“You cannot really touch the situations. It’s just hard. The rules are what they are, but the thing is you can’t defend these situations.”
Klopp also complained about a decision that went against Arsenal last week, and compared some of the fouls seen in the Premier League to “wrestling”.
“I don’t think it’s right, but I cannot decide these things. I heard about leaving the game flow, but now we have these situations. The second goal from Brentford must be a foul – you cannot clip the arm of the goalkeeper and say, ‘that’s football’. I think maybe we have to think about it a second or a third time.
“The message now is let the game flow, but nobody exactly knows what that means. I like decisions that favour the offensive team, that’s fine. But we have to stick to protecting the players. We cannot deny that. If you like that sort of thing, watch wrestling.”
Speaking last Sunday, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville praised the referees for their performances throughout the opening weekend, specifically for them allowing the game to flow.
He said: “It’s more physical, not just the adaptation of VAR, it’s actually the relaxing of what would be the softer fouls that we’ve seen. It’s enhanced the game so much, I know it’s only the first weekend and the referees won’t get carried away I’m sure.
“I think there was a danger that the game was going far more towards non-contact, but I think what we’ve seen this weekend is the atmosphere back in the stadiums, but the referees have been absolutely outstanding.”
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 15, 2021