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Klopp Believes Rule Change Wouldn’t Have Prevented Patricio Incident

Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio went off injured after a collision with his own captain, Conor Coady.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Good news came after the scary on-pitch collision between Rui Patricio and Conor Coady that left Patricio unconscious on the ground. The goalkeeper had regained consciousness in the locker room after being taken off of the pitch on a stretcher. Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo said that Patricio was awake and aware of his surroundings, which is a huge relief.

In the 86th minute of Liverpool’s match against Wolves at Molineux, Mohamed Salah had seemingly gotten through on goal. Coady and Patricio both attempted to stop Salah but ended up running into each other. Salah’s goal hit the back of the net, and only then did the linesman, per the new VAR rules, raise his flag to indicate that Salah was offside.

Patricio got the worse end of the collision, with Coady’s knee knocking straight into his temple. The result was a nerve-wracking 15 minutes as the physios attended to Patricio.

In the wake of this event, questions have been asked about the wisdom of this rule change. The intended purpose is obvious: it’s more fair to give the attacker the benefit of the doubt, so that if the linesman gets the offside call wrong, then the player still gets the chance to score. However, it can lead to unnecessary and rash reactions, like the one that happened on Monday night, when the desperate defenders try to block what they think will be a legitimate goal.

Understandably, Klopp was asked his opinion on this matter after the final whistle.

“I was surprised I heard the goalie was on the ground and yes, everything loses its importance in that moment,” Klopp admitted. “So I don’t know how long [play stopped for], maybe seven or eight minutes, that is completely normal and then you worry even more. So yes, we wish him all the best in his recovery and hopefully he will be fine, immediately.

“I think the whole [offside law] needs to be looked at, but I don’t think this situation...from what I saw and I didn’t see it back, it was not like miles offside or the clearest offside in the world.

So I really think for that [injury], we cannot change this situation as unlucky and awful as it was, yes. But there are obviously situations in the game when everyone sees that it is offside. But they are the rules, we have spoken about a lot of things and they need to be looked at, for sure, if someone changes it? I don’t know.”

This is another in a long list of weird VAR things that will no one accounted for and that will probably need tweaking in the coming years as the technology continues to be used. Thankfully this time, it seems as though Patricio will be ok.

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