Liverpool’s adventure in the 2023/2024 Season was hit with a controversial VAR call earlier, when their forward Luis Díaz was denied an opening goal for the 10-man side against Tottenham Hotspur last month after a very quick review and saw themselves lose 2-1 eventually in their only English Premier League defeat to date. The decision buzzed the entire world of football and in the Kop’s yesterday UEFA Europa League clash versus French Ligue 1 side Toulouse FC, the English outfit suffered a similar fate yet again, this time their equaliser was ruled invalid due to a controversial VAR call.
Liverpool Lost a Five-Goal Thriller to Toulouse FC in France
The Reds were back to winning ways after their 2-1 victory over A.F.C. Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium in the EFL Cup Fourth Round, and boosted by their 5-1 humiliation over Toulouse FC at home last time around in the European club football competition, they were determined to remain perfect in Group E. Jürgen Klopp went for a big round of changes in his starting 11 that beat the French side a Matchday ago with six changes, while Toulouse FC had an unchanged 11 from that thumping for this game.
It was the home side who raced to a two-goal lead after almost an hour of play, courtesy of Aron Dønnum and Thijs Dallinga. The 25-year-old Norwegian winger first dispossessed Konstantinos Tsimikas in Liverpool’s own half, followed by a run into the dangerous zone and a deflected left-footed shot that went past goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher. Dallinga then doubled Toulose’s lead 13 minutes after the game was resumed in the second half, when a chaotic play saw midfielder Vincent Sierro send a delivery into the box, and the Dutch striker took it in his stride and fired in his team’s second goal of the evening.
Liverpool would go on to pull one back via an own goal by Cristian Cásseres Jr., but Toulose FC were not willing to let this opportunity of a famous victory to slip away and restored their two-goal cushion seconds later. Dønnum was again involved in the buildup, and his long ball into the zone found Gabriel Suazo, who crossed it first time. Kelleher was unable to get hold of the ball and allowed it to fall before Frank Magri, who came on seven minutes earlier, to score his first goal for his new club.
View this post on Instagram
Controversial VAR Call: Goal or No Goal?
Portuguese forward Diogo Jota gave Liverpool hopes when he scored the team’s second goal right before the injury time of this Matchday 4 fixture in the UEFA Europa League, allowing the Reds to hunt for an equaliser in the closing stages of the game, in which they did in the final moments, but to no avail as a controversial VAR call ruled Alexis Mac Allister handball during the buildup.
The controversial VAR call came when the FIFA World Cup-winning midfielder Mac Allister fumbled while controlling the ball off a clearance by the Toulouse FC backline, his pass would then lead to 20-year-old centre-back Jarell Quansah’s close-ranged effort into the back of the net. The disallowed goal from a controversial VAR call stunned everyone at the Liverpool camp, as they failed to equalise and lost for the first time in the current Europa League campaign.
During the post-match conference, Klopp made his feelings known about the controversial VAR call, and said that Mac Allister did not touch the ball with his hand and thought that the goal should have be given. “I saw the video back and for me it’s not a handball. But how can I decide that? The ball goes to the chest and I don’t see a contact with the arm to be honest – maybe they have a different picture than I had. It’s pretty long ago before we score the goal. That’s interesting.”
— Mail Sport (@MailSport) November 9, 2023
Luis Díaz’s Father Released by Kidnappers
If there is any silver lining to Liverpool‘s UEFA Europa League match and the controversial VAR call yesterday, then it must be the release of 26-year-old attacker Luis Díaz’s father by kidnappers before the game was played. Luis Díaz’s mother Cilenis Marulanda and Luis Manuel Díaz were kidnapped in a gas station at their hometown on 29th October 2023, before the police rescued the former a day later and the 56-year-old latter being freed by the notorious National Liberation Army, who are known for their ransom kidnappings and armed attacks on Colombia’s infrastructure, on 9th November 2023. You can read about the full details of the incident here.
After the Europa League loss and the controversial VAR call, Liverpool will return to the league and host Brentford F.C. for their Matchday 12 game.