Mohamed Salah not getting free kicks despite obvious fouls committed against him has been an ongoing theme for the Egyptian’s entire tenure at Liverpool. Many referees just do not award him blatant, obvious fouls, and that trend continued in LFC’s 1-0 victory over Manchester City at Anfield today.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp grew more and more frustrated with each uncalled foul against his star winger, and that frustration boiled over into full-blown rage in the 85th minute. After Salah was dragged down by Bernardo Silva in full view of the linesman and referee Anthony Taylor, Klopp went ballistic on the linesman as he ran past. Taylor immediately sent the German manager off.
Klopp admitted that the sending-off was justified in a post-match interview with Sky Sports, but he also explained how his reaction was thanks to Anthony Taylor’s failure to award deserved fouls throughout the entirety of the match.
“In the end, probably deserved,” Klopp admitted when asked about his red card. “But this situation, you cannot not whistle that situation. After all the things that happened on the pitch, I don’t know what Mo Salah has to do to get a free kick. So many situations.”
While the no-calls that went against Mo Salah were particularly egregious, Taylor made the baffling decision to swallow his whistle on many occasions throughout the match, leaving both managers furious with the officiating at times.
“Pep [Guardiola]and I agreed on the touchline; we didn’t understand the challenges which were allowed and all these kinds of things, both sides,” said Klopp. “Let’s play football, the game would not be a little bit worse, not a little bit worse. But we have to take that we are on the weak side of it. We have no power at all, we just stand there.”
That feeling of rage as a result of said powerlessness is ultimately what led to Klopp blowing up after Salah was once again denied a deserved free kick. While his reaction may have crossed a line, it’s entirely understandable given the situation.
“And in this moment something just switched off. I’m not proud of that, but when I saw it’s the clearest foul I ever saw in front of the linesman and he says play on.”
“How can you let this situation go? It’s a clear- he pulls him down!”
Fortunately, the day had a happy ending despite the infuriating decisions of the officials as Liverpool earned a well-deserved victory over a juggernaut of a team. Klopp was thrilled with the way his side performed, even if he had to finish the match in the stands.
“Result, perfect. Performance, really, really good, in an incredibly intense game. We defended at an incredibly high level for 99 minutes almost. They had their moments but, especially in the box, we did extremely well. This was for us obviously big today. We showed up today and that is all we wanted to do.”