Liverpool’s 2-1 loss to Manchester City was decided on margins so thin, they could quite literally only be measured in millimeters. One key moment came in the 30th minute with the hosts already up 1-0 through Sergio Aguero’s seventh straight goal at home in this fixture. City’s John Stones misplaced a pass to Vincent Kompany, putting the Belgian in a footrace to the ball to prevent the Reds’ Mohamed Salah from intercepting with only the goalkeeper to beat.
The City captain then proceeded to tick all the boxes of a textbook straight red card in a desperation tackle of the Liverpool talisman: the last man leaving his feet, studs in the air while performing a scissoring motion to bring Salah to the ground.
The defender somehow managed to appear genuinely incredulous when Anthony Taylor produced a yellow card for preventing what would’ve been a sure goal for the Premier League’s third-leading scorer.
Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp was also dumbfounded by the decision—to keep Kompany on the pitch:
“I really like Vincent Kompany,” the 51-year-old told Sky Sports. “I really like him but how on earth is that not a red card?
“He’s the last man, he goes in and if he hits Mo more he’s out for the season.
“A player goes to ground, and he took the risk. If Mo is on his feet, not jumping, then we all know what happen.
“He is still a really nice guy, he just made a really bad decision.”
“We were here last season there was a red card, and nobody thought about it,” Klopp added.
“Yes it was a card, but did he want it? He did not even see him? Kompany saw him, hit him, and you can make your own opinion.”
“I don’t blame anybody,” the German manager continued. “But in a situation like that make a decision. These situations are not easy for the ref. I don’t know if he saw it but I saw it, especially after the game.
“These things happen but it’s all okay. We lost the game because they scored two and we scored one. We take that and now we carry on.”
It was a massive call from a referee yet to send of a player this season in a match between two evenly-matched heavyweights in which the Reds come a last-ditch goal line clearance away from taking at least a point.
With their lead at the top of the table now reduced to four points, Klopp will be looking to pick his team back up as they prepare to take on the business end of the campaign.