Liverpool survived a late scare but still face an FA Cup replay with Wolves after a video assistant referee call described as “impossible” by Julen Lopetegui denied Totti a late victory in a 2-2 draw at Anfield.
Totti successfully heeled Hwang Hee-chan’s heart into the net in the 82nd minute to spark wild celebrations in the missed end, which were eventually dampened when the video assistant referee upheld a reported offside in the match – though ITV Videographer Mike Dean did not have a camera angle of the alleged crime.
“We saw it, the offside is non-existent,” Lopetegui said. ITV After visiting referee Andy Madley with captain Ruben Neves. “It’s impossible, but someone told him it crept in. We saw the picture, and it doesn’t exist.”
That finishing touch proved a memorable FA Cup match at Anfield, which Wolves headed home after 26 minutes thanks to Alisson’s dreaded pass giving Goncalo Guedes an open goal.
On the other hand, the hosts’ equalizer before the end of the first half was of pure quality. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s 40-yard volley fell perfectly to Darwin Nunez, and he finished brilliantly past Matija Sarkić.
Liverpool turned the game on its head after half-time when Totti latched on to a deep cross from Cody Jacobo, who deliberately played the ball controversially adjudged to have played Mohamed Salah along with the chance he buried.
The decision proved another point of contention for Lopetegui, who said: “The second goal from Liverpool is the same. It’s the same rule. Salah was offside before Totti touched the ball, and of course Totti.” [reacts] for office [Salah]. “
Wolves were given some respite as Liverpool’s fragile backline was once again breached by Can, who scored his first goal for the club in 11 months – before Totti’s upside-down goal denied Lopetegui the best moment of his short Wolves career so far.
Both sides will now face a replay at Molineux amid an already packed schedule later this month.
Liverpool: Alisson (5), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (5), Konate (6), Robertson (6), Thiago (5), Fabinho (6), Henderson (6), Salah (7), Nunez (7) ), Gakbo (6).
Submarines: Keita (6), Elliott (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Gomez (unknown).
Wolves:Kirkic (6), Lembekisa (6), Collins (7), Totti (7), Castro (6), Adama (6), Neves (7), Hodge (7), Ait Nouri (6), Jimenez (5) ), Guedes (7).
Submarines: Hwang (7), Cunha (7), Nunes (6), Semedo (6), Bueno (6).
Match player: Goncalo Guedes.
How Wolves continued to recover to deny cup holders Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp dissented many of his Premier League colleagues by naming the first-choice Liverpool XI to bounce back from Monday’s defeat at Brentford, but much of the first half at Anfield left him with familiar frustrations.
Jakpo and Salah both enjoyed early chances in good starts for Liverpool, but their indifference in defense threatened to cost them even then.
Joel Matip was caught cold by Guedes as he dribbled outside the Liverpool box, and he was lucky to be unharmed.
Soon after Alisson was less fortunate when he passed straight to the Portuguese under little pressure, left to be watched as he shot into an empty net.
Wolves were not flattered by the result, but lost their lead moments before half time through a move they had little chance of stopping.
- Jurgen Klopp included new signing Kodi Gakow in the starting line-up for his Liverpool debut.
- Julen Lopetegui has made eight changes to his Wolves team, including rare starts for Totti and 19-year-old Dexter Lembikisa.
Alexander-Arnold’s cross was down the field by Nunez, whose Šarkić cross was almost perfect.
The offside fumble began seven minutes into the second half with Liverpool’s second goal.
Salah took advantage of Totti’s misdirected header, which he might not have attempted had the attacker not been offside, and slammed home with a gift that was confirmed by the video assistant referee after a brief review.
Wolves missed a golden chance to equalise when Rayan Ait Nouri was played on but fired straight at Alisson.
But their sense of injustice was quickly mitigated temporarily when substitute Hwang, back from a World Cup starring role with South Korea, burst into the Liverpool area and scored the equalizer at home after exchanging passes with Kona.
But the visitors, and Lopetegui in particular, were outraged when Totti’s apparent corner kick was ruled out by the linesman’s flag when Mateus Nunes was ruled offside in the match.
After a lengthy VAR pause, Dean upheld the decision on the pitch with no chance to review it himself to force Wolves to equalise, and keep Liverpool’s hopes of retaining the cup alive.
Klopp: I understand the frustration of wolves
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp:
“On the pitch, I couldn’t see him. For me, I thought it was a goal. It was the guy in the left corner who was probably offside, we have one corner that I saw in the dressing room that I thought was offside but I wouldn’t swear at him.
“That corner, the VAR wasn’t there if I’m right. We had a similar situation in the Arsenal game, the corner was missing and everyone thought it was offside but we couldn’t prove it.
“I don’t know how these things could have happened, but they did. So I understand the Wolves’ frustration, you want the right decision in these moments as much as we wanted it at the time.”
Lopetegui: The VAR decisions were wrong
Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui told ITV about visiting the referee’s room after full-time:
“It was just talking about the two goals. We saw the infiltration of our target and it is not there. It is impossible, but someone said [the referee] It’s offside. We’ve seen the picture and it’s not there.
“The second goal from Liverpool is the same. It’s the same rule. We’ve talked a lot with the referees about this kind of situation, one of the players took advantage of his position before Totti touched the ball. Of course, Totti reacts to a situation.” [Salah].
“The referee was very polite, it helped us but now it happened and we have to accept that. It’s a pity because we deserved to beat a great team like Liverpool, we have to recover and come back again in four days against Nottingham Forest.”
Liverpool Next game in Brighton In the Premier League on Saturday January 14th – 3pm.
WolvesNext outing you see they fly to Nottingham Forest In the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday – 7.45 pm.
Coach Julen Lopetegui’s team then hosts fellow Premier League strugglers West Ham In a Premier Division clash on Saturday January 14th – 3pm.