Van Dijk puzzled over Gross avoiding red card against Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk admits he was puzzled why Pascal Gross was not sent off during Liverpool’s draw with Brighton as Jurgen Klopp insists he is ‘TOO OLD’ to discuss officiating controversy

  • Liverpool were made to settle for a point after their 2-2 draw with Brighton
  • Mohamed Salah scored a penalty after Pascal Gross’ clumsy, last-ditch foul 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has admitted his surprise after Pascal Gross avoided a red card in their draw at Brighton despite clumsily gifting away a penalty.

Midfielder Gross was not booked after hauling down Dominik Szoboszlai inside the box, with Mohamed Salah stepping up to convert and hand the visitors the lead.

It is believed Gross controversially evaded punishment because VAR officials did not view the opening for Szoboszlai as a ‘clear goalscoring opportunity’.

The call ultimately proved costly with Seagulls captain Lewis Dunk forcing a share of the spoils with a late equaliser, leaving Liverpool ruing yet more divisive officiating. 

‘On the pitch you are thinking about this and you have to be careful for asking if was going to get sent off,’ Van Dijk told Sky Sports post-match.

Pascal Gross avoided a red card in Brighton’s draw at Liverpool despite gifting away a penalty

Virgil van Dijk has expressed his surprise over the referee’s choice not to punish Gross

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‘I was curious for the reason why he didn’t get a booking. We win the penalty, we score the penalty and the ref didn’t give a yellow or a red. We have to accept it.’

Gross was guilty of holding on to Szoboszlai’s shirt after a mix-up at the back, with a poor pass from goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen snatched up by the high press.

But referee Anthony Taylor did not brandish a card and VAR Chris Kavanagh opted not to advise the official to take a look at the incident on his pitchside monitor. 

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was reluctant to criticise the decision, saying: ‘I didn’t even realise at the time to be honest. When it was a penalty, I didn’t think about a red.

‘But I’ve heard now it was about whether it was a goal-scoring opportunity. Can I ask the question here? Do you think it was a goal-scoring opportunity? Hands up! I haven’t seen it back yet. Oh, a few hands up!

‘What can I say about that? I’m over it. I’m too old for these kind of things. It won’t change it.’

Gross tangled with Dominik Szoboszlai after a costly mix-up at the back from the home side

Jurgen Klopp was reluctant to criticise the divisive decision, jokingly insisting he is ‘too old’

Brighton had taken the lead at the Amex Stadium after Simon Adingra robbed Alexis Mac Allister, who made his first return to his former club, and slotted past Alisson.

Van Dijk believes that a breakdown in communication led to the breakthrough,

‘Miscommunication. He heard a shout and it wasn’t,’ he added. ‘It was a miscommunication and we don’t want to make mistakes.

‘Overall I am proud of my team and we have to get through the international break and then back for a very interesting couple of games.’ 

‘We came here to win. I think we had opportunities to do so and in the end a draw, after a difficult game. Quite open at times. Quite even but looking at our team, we had opportunities to win.’


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