Analysis claims VAR made ‘crucial error’ with ‘offside’ Leicester equaliser vs Liverpool

Liverpool were livid with VAR during their 3-1 defeat at Leicester City in the Premier League.

It looked for all intents and purposes that the Reds were going to get their season back on track with a win at the King Power Stadium as they entered the final moments with a 1-0 lead.

But everything changed with 78 minutes on the clock when a free-kick by James Maddison looked to have evaded everybody in the Liverpool penalty area and snuck its way past Alisson Becker.

Leicester vs Liverpool controversy

Initially, the goal was ruled out for offside against Daniel Amartey, who looked to have stepped beyond Roberto Firmino when the ball was played.

But VAR thought differently with replays appearing to show that Amartey’s sleeve was the right side of Firmino’s boot and thus, reversed the decision of the on-pitch officials.

In the end, it gave Leicester the lift they needed to win the game, scoring again through Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes, but that did little to pour cold water on the controversy of their opening goal.

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Klopp goes in on VAR

In fact, Jurgen Klopp came out swinging in his post-match interview, bemoaning an apparent lack of ‘objectivity’ in the VAR system and claiming that Maddison’s goal shouldn’t have stood.

Speaking to talkSPORT, the Liverpool boss said: “We conceded a really strange goal – I’ve said this plenty of times but it’s VAR. VAR should be completely objective, but it’s not.

“Because somebody has to make a decision whether it’s offside or not and which moment is the moment when we judge the offside.

“I’ve seen [the replay] back plenty of time now and how I saw it is that Maddison didn’t even touch the ball when he judged the situation.”

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‘Further analysis’ of Leicester goal

So, is Klopp just being a poor loser or is he onto something here? Well, there are plenty of Liverpool fans who think the latter and none more so than Reddit user u/divockoriginal.

That’s because they uploaded a fascinating graphic to Liverpool’s Reddit page essentially making the argument that Amartey was indeed offside due to a fault with the lines drawn by VAR.

The moral of the story is that VAR might have drawn the line from the shadow of Firmino’s boot as opposed to his foot itself, therefore edging Amartey’s sleeve into an offside position.

It might sound like the work of a tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist bitter that Liverpool lost, but that’s most certainly not the case, so be sure to give the full graphic its time of day down below:

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Yeh, not so tinfoil hat, huh?

Liverpool fan explains graphic

Reflecting in the comments, u/divockoriginal wrote: “My opinion of the goal is that Amartey was offside, and that VAR made a crucial error in their decision of how and where Firmino’s foot was placed.

“As many people have noted, his foot was not pointed towards the goal, and the blue line that the VAR referee has drawn seems to be from a shadow that could appear to be his boot, not his actual boot.

“Now, usually VAR decision arguments come down to the drawing or angle or placement of lines, and are hard to analyse visually without the software they use, but I believe by utilizing the various angles that were on offer during replays, we can look at this in further detail.” 

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Sadly, at the end of the day, there’s always going to be an element of subjectivity involved with offside decisions like these until they can be judged as accurately as, say, goal-line technology.