Klopp irked by Mane off­side de­ci­sion

The Herald on Sunday - - SPORT -

ALEXAN­DRE La­cazette struck a late equaliser as Arse­nal and Liver­pool shared the spoils in an en­ter­tain­ing Premier League clash.

Liver­pool looked to be go­ing three points clear at the top of the ta­ble af­ter James Mil­ner’s 50th ca­reer Premier League goal. But Arse­nal ral­lied and de­servedly se­cured a 1-1 draw as La­cazette wrig­gled free in­side the box be­fore curl­ing home with eight min­utes re­main­ing.

Both sides had first-half ef­forts ruled out for off­side, Liver­pool’s a more con­tentious call as Sa­dio Mane saw his cel­e­bra­tions cut short to the ob­vi­ous f rus­tra­tion of man­ager Jur­gen Klopp, who felt the de­ci­sion was a mis­take by the of­fi­cials.

“There’s only one per­son who can an­swer the ques­tion and that’s the lines­man. No­body else can say any­thing about that,” Klopp said. “For me, that’s foot­ball. You have one player in a slightly off­side po­si­tion and chip the ball and then the other one takes the ball, that’s foot­ball all over the world. If he [the lines­man] sees it like that, good – it was not off­side. And the sec­ond sit­u­a­tion was not off­side. If he thought the first sit­u­a­tion was off­side, I think that would have been the wrong de­ci­sion.

“We made more mis­takes than the refs but in this sit­u­a­tion it would have been cool if this goal would count be­cause it was ob­vi­ously in a very good mo­ment.”

De­spite Mane’s dis­al­lowed strike and los­ing a lead, the Ger­man was sat­is­fied to leave Lon­don with a draw.

“It’s not really pos­si­ble to come here and dom­i­nate Arse­nal like we want,” Klopp added. “It’s a point, that will al­ways be a suc­cess at Arse­nal.”

The Gun­ners, how­ever, have a poor re­cent record against the league’s main clubs. They did com­pete here and their sup­port­ers in­side the Emi­rates Sta­dium stuck with them. Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang was lively in the open­ing ex­changes and saw two shots de­flected be­hind as Arse­nal started brighter than in re­cent weeks. Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan al­most took ad­van­tage when Liver­pool goalke e p e r Al i s s on Becker sprinted from his line and got nowhere near Aubameyang’s cross, with Mkhi­taryan’s header flash­ing wide. Liver­poo l were also threat­en­ing and had the ball in the net mo­ments later, only for Mane’s ef­fort to be ruled out for off­side.

Only a smart save from Bernd Leno kept out Vir­gil van Dijk, with Shko­dran Mustafi alert enough to clear away the loose ball. For­mer Celtic de­fender Van Dijk then flicked a header against the foot of the post as Leno rushed out into no-man’s-land in­side his own penalty area.

Liver­pool took the lead on the hour as the Arse­nal goal­keeper pushed Mane’s cross back in front of his own goal, with Mil­ner on hand to drill in his third of the sea­son.

Leno tipped a Van Dijk header be­hind as Liver­pool looked to kill it off, with Emery in­tro­duc­ing Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ram­sey. It was Iwobi who would play a part in La­cazette’s lev­eller, play­ing a pre­cise ball into his path be­fore the for­mer Lyon man (in­set) bent home a pre­ci­sion strike.

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