James Maddison makes pointed Jurgen Klopp remark after VAR drama leaves Liverpool furious

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were reduced to nine men against Tottenham on Saturday night but Spurs star James Maddison disagreed with the Liverpool boss on the officiating

Tottenham midfielder James Maddison felt both of Liverpool’s red cards were justified despite Jurgen Klopp’s protests.

Spurs left it late against 9-man Liverpool after Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota were both sent off by referee Simon Hooper. Five of the six advertised minutes of added time had been played when a miscue from Reds defender Joel Matip sent the ball into the back of the visitors’ net to give the London side all three points.

Liverpool will now be without the two first-teamers for their trip to Brighton next weekend, while they also lost Cody Gakpo to injury. The red cards weren’t the only flashpoints, with PGMOL admitting a “significant error” was made over an offside call which denied the Reds an opener when the game was goalless.Klopp made his feelings clear, speaking about an “unfair” game after his team were denied a point. Maddison had no qualms with either decision, though.

“Jota’s definitely was [a red],” Maddison told Sky Sports (as transcribed by The BBC). “The Curtis Jones one early on got shown on the big screen I think was a red card as well. I’m not sure Jurgen will complain too much about those too.”

The former Leicester man also spoke about the challenges of breaking down the visitors’ nine men. Liverpool were already down to 10 when Gakpo scored their goal, levelling things up after Son Heung-min’s opener. Klopp’s team held out for 20 minutes while two men down, but fell just shy of preserving their unbeaten start to the season.

“You wouldn’t really practice it that much. It actually becomes probably more difficult,” Maddison said of the 11 vs 9 match-up. “Liverpool are devestating counter attacking on the break, their philosophy 11v10 doesn’t really change. We know 11v10 their strengths are still there. I’m a bit of a fuzzy head at the minute”

Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou was pleased to see his team make a late breakthrough but admitted they could have done better against their depleted opponents. “We didn’t handle it too well when they went down to ten,” the former Celtic boss said.

“We started rushing things and we thought that because we had the man advantage that we could really dominate the game but the reality is even with ten men, their game doesn’t change. Their game operates on allowing you to make the mistakes and punishing teams.

“The second red card came from us putting the pressure on and then they filled their box with their tall guys so crossing it in wasn’t really an option. The own goal obviously came from the low cross so that’s something.”

Spurs’ victory moves them back up to second in the Premier League table, ahead of neighbours Arsenal on goals scored. The Gunners beat Bournemouth 4-0 earlier in the day, with Kai Havertz opening his Premier League account for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Reigning champions Manchester City are still top of the table, but their lead has been cut to one point. Pep Guardiola’s men won their first six games of the season, but were beaten 2-1 by Wolves with Hwang Hee-chan scoring the winner.

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