Liverpool survived a late scare but still face an FA Cup replay with Wolves after Julen Lopetegui’s VAR penalty, which was marked ‘impossible’, denied Totti a 2-0 tie at Anfield. Reversal winner in -2 draw.
Totti kicked Hwang Hee-chan’s low centre-forward into the net with his heel in the 82nd minute, sparking frenzied celebrations in the away game, which were eventually quelled when VAR ruled him offside – though ITV Video Officer Mike Dean reportedly did not capture the camera angles of the alleged crime.
“We’ve seen it, there’s no offside,” Lopetegui told ITV After visiting referee Andy Madeley with captain Ruben Neves. “It wasn’t possible, but he was told offside. We saw the image, it wasn’t there.”
It proved the final twist in a memorable FA Cup clash at Anfield, with Wolves leading after 26 minutes thanks to Alisson’s horribly wayward pass to Gonkalogde There is one vacant seat.
In contrast, the hosts’ equalizer before half-time was perfect. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s 40-yard cross landed perfectly on Darwin Nunez, who did an excellent job past Matija Sarkic.
Liverpool reversed the game after half-time, with debutant Kodigakpo’s deep pass nod to Totti, who kicked deliberately and was controversially ruled to keep Mo Salah on the pitch for his buried chance .
The decision proved another bone of contention for Lopetegui, who said: “Liverpool’s second goal was the same. It was the same rule. Salah was offside before Totti touched the ball and of course Totti [reacts] to the location [Salah]”
Wolves got some respite as Liverpool’s vulnerable backline was once again breached by Chen, who scored his first goal for the club in 11 months – before Totti’s winner gave Lopete Gee became the highlight of his short Wolves career so far.
The two sides will now face a replay at Molyneux on an already packed schedule later in the month.
Liverpool: Alisson (5), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (5), Konate (6), Robertson (6), Thiago (5), Fabinho (6), Henderson (6), Salah (7), Nunes (7) ), Xuepu (6).
submarine: Keita (6), Elliott (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Gomez (n/a).
Wolves:Kirkic (6), Lumbikisa (6), Collins (7), Totti (7), Castro (6), Adama (6), Neves (7), Hodge (7) ), Ait-Nuri (6), Jimenez (5) ), Guedes (7).
submarine: Huang (7), Cunha (7), Nunes (6), Semedo (6), Bueno (6).
Player of the Match: Gonzalo Guedes.
How Wolves continued their revival to deny cup winners Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp went against many of his Premier League colleagues by appointing his first-choice Liverpool XI to recover from Monday’s loss to Brentford, but has been in Anfield. Field spent most of the first half feeling a familiar sense of frustration.
Gakpo and Salah have both enjoyed early chances in Liverpool’s fine start, but their indifference at the back could cost them.
Joel Matip was caught cold by Guedes when he dribbled the ball outside the Liverpool penalty area, but he was fortunately unhurt.
Alisson wasn’t so lucky shortly after, passing the ball straight into the Portuguese with little to no pressure and was left to watch as he fired into an empty net.
Wolves were not flattered by the scoreline, but their lead was snatched away moments before half-time with little chance of stopping.
- Jurgen Klopp has included new signing Cody Gakpo in the starting XI on his Liverpool debut.
- Julen Lopetegui has made eight changes to his Wolves side, including rare starts for Toti and 19-year-old Dexter Lembikisa.
Alexander-Arnold’s angled cross was precise on Nunez, who was almost as good on Sarkic.
With Liverpool’s second goal seven minutes into the second half the offside chaos began.
Salah grabbed Totti’s errant header, which he probably wouldn’t have attempted had the forward not been offside, before lashing out for a goal gift, which was confirmed by VAR after a brief review.
Wolves missed a chance to equalize when Rayan Ait-Nouri was kicked through but fired straight at Alisson.
But their sense of injustice soon eased as substitute Hwang sprinted into the Liverpool area after exchanging passes with Cunha to level the score at home.
But the visitors, and especially Lopetegui, were enraged when the linesman’s flag ruled out Totti’s clear winner from a corner when Matthews Nunes was flagged for offside in the build-up.
After a lengthy VAR delay, Dean insisted on the on-field decision without the opportunity to review it himself, forcing Wolves to accept the draw and keeping Liverpool’s title hopes alive.
Klopp: I can understand Wolves’ frustration
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp:
“On the pitch, I don’t see it. For me, I think it’s a goal. Probably offside the player in the left corner, we had an angle, I saw it in the dressing room, I thought it was offside, But I won’t swear.
“The angle, if I’m right, VAR wasn’t there. We had a similar situation with Arsenal, an angle was lost and everyone thought it was offside but we couldn’t prove it.
“I don’t know how these things happen, but it happens. So I understand the frustration at Wolves, you want to make the right decisions in these moments, like we wanted to at the time.”
Lopetegui: Both VAR decisions were wrong
Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui spoke to ITV about visiting the referee room after working full-time:
“Just talking about two goals. We’ve seen the offside of our goal, but it’s not there.It’s not possible, but it has been told [the referee] This is offside. We’ve seen the image, but it doesn’t exist.
“Liverpool’s second goal was the same. It’s the same rule. We’ve talked to the referee a lot about this situation where a player takes advantage of Totti’s position before he touches the ball. Of course Totti’s attitude towards position the response was [Salah].
“The referee was very polite and he helped us but now it’s happened and we have to accept it. It’s a shame because we deserved to win against a team as good as Liverpool and we had to recover and play Nottingham four days later forest. “
Liverpool’s next game at brighton In the Premier League on Saturday 14 January – 3pm kick-off.
wolves‘The next outing sees them head to nottingham forest In Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final – kick-off at 7.45pm.
Julen Lopetegui’s side then host Premier League strugglers west ham united Saturday 14th January – Kick off at 3pm.