Should Pascal Gross have been sent off? Jurgen Klopp ‘over it’ after Liverpool draw at Brighton

Jurgen Klopp was philosophical about the decision not to send off Pascal Gross in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Germany international conceded a penalty when he cynically pulled down Dominik Szoboszlai just before the break.

However, referee Anthony Taylor failed to show a card and VAR Chris Kavanagh didn’t advise him to take another look at the incident – despite the fact that Gross was making no attempt to challenge for the ball.

It appeared to be the denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity but the officials decided otherwise with PGMOL’s justification that Szoboszlai was not moving towards goal and didn’t have possession of the ball at the time.

Asked about the decision, Klopp said: “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.”

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) laws state that “where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball or a challenge for the ball.

“In all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.), the offending player must be sent off.”

However, the distance between the offence and the goal, the general direction of the play, the likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball and the location and number of defenders around the incident must also be taken into account.

In the case of Gross, it is understood that officials felt that Szoboszlai was not moving towards goal and wasn’t in possession of the ball or wasn’t going to gain possession of the ball. Therefore it was deemed that he was not denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity and he wasn’t shown a red card.

Mohamed Salah scored the penalty to put Liverpool 2-1 up but Lewis Dunk equalised for Brighton in the second half.

Liverpool return to action following the international break with the Merseyside derby against Everton while Brighton travel to Manchester City.

(Photo: Canal Plus)

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