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Rio Ferdinand fumes at VAR after Liverpool vs Chelsea controversy – ‘It’s meant to help’

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Chelsea were twice denied a penalty in their defeat to Liverpool at Anfield as Conor Gallagher and Christopher Nkunku were both felled by Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.

Rio Ferdinand was aghast that VAR did not intervene to award Chelsea a penalty against Liverpool, with the Blues twice denied an opportunity from the spot.

Jurgen Klopp’s side prevailed 4-1 in a dominant display over the west London team, but Chelsea were not handed the chance to sway the momentum of the game. Conor Gallagher was first felled in the box when Virgil van Dijk left his knee hanging out as the midfielder burst through.

Paul Tierney waved play on with the score still goalless before Diogo Jota, Conor Bradley and Dominik Szoboszlai opened up a healthy lead for the Reds. Christopher Nkunku reduced the deficit on his return from injury before being caught by van Dijk himself.

The Dutch defender kicked Nkunku’s standing leg in the penalty area which saw the Frenchman fall to the floor. The incident was looked at but dismissed by John Brooks.

Ferdinand believes had those decisions went the opposite way, the nature of the game could have been different. The former Manchester United star was in disbelief that Chelsea were not awarded two penalties.

He said following the game: ‘I can’t believe VAR hasn’t seen that and not give the penalties. VAR is meant to help in these situations. How they have looked at the those two incidents and not thought they were penalties [for Chelsea]…

“I still think Chelsea were well off it today but those penalties could have changed the nature of the game.”

Blues head coach Mauricio Pochettino was less critical of the officials. The 51-year-old believed his side should have been awarded a penalty but did not use it as an excuse for his team’s performance.

He said: “Of course we were seeing it on the iPad and we were thinking it could be a penalty. It was bad luck for us but that does not change the feeling that Liverpool were better than us.”

“Nah, I think it’s a final excuse,” Pochettino said in his press conference. “The performance wasn’t good from us. They deserved to win, they were better than us.

“Of course that is a situation that maybe provides us with an opportunity to be close on the score but to talk about this type of action today, I don’t want to talk about that because that is part of football.

“To be honest, we didn’t perform in the way we wanted to perform. They were better than us from the first action, through the 90 minutes. This is the type of game when you say, ‘Well done, Liverpool’. In the [Carabao Cup] final, I think we need to approach the game in a different way and I think it will be different.”

 

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