Luis Diaz’s opening goal for Liverpool against Tottenham was disallowed after a misunderstanding between the VAR official and the referee.
PGMOL admitted that Luis Diaz’s strike in the first-half against Tottenham was incorrectly ruled out for offside.
Liverpool ultimately lost 2-1 to Ange Postecoglou’s side, with Joel Matip scoring a late own goal after both Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota were sent off for the Reds.
The decision to disallow Diaz’s goal for Liverpool has left many baffled, with VAR appearing to stick with the on-field decision to disallow the goal – despite the Colombian attacker clearly appearing to be onside.
It appears though that the mistake was made following a misunderstanding between the on-field officials and those on VAR.
PGMOL has acknowledged that Luis Diaz’s goal against Tottenham was incorrectly ruled out
Diaz thought he had fired home to put Liverpool ahead in the first half only to see the flag raised by the assistant referee
The goal was ruled out despite replays clearing showing Diaz was being played onside by Cristian Romero
VAR official Darren England thought that the on-field decision was a goal and told referee Simon Hooper ‘check complete’ – when the goal had been in fact disallowed
Darren England was the man tasked with VAR duties for the match, with Dan Cook acting as assistant VAR.
After the on-field decisions disallowed Diaz’s strike, England checked for offside thinking that the on-field decision was to award the goal.
Viewers at home felt that the check was unusually quick. The quick check though was because England felt that Diaz was clearly onside, and told the referee ‘check complete’.
In doing so, he effectively told referee Simon Hooper that the on-field call was the correct one.
Tottenham then took a free-kick for offside, which at that point – when the error would have been noticed – it is said to be too late to pull play back.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has reacted to the blunder on social media.
He wrote on X: ‘It’s an horrendous mistake no matter how they did it. But if they knew just after the free kick was taken that they’d made a huge mistake, it’s nonsense they can’t bring it back just because a free kick has been taken.’
Gary Neville said there was a moment where the ‘refs looked sick’ as though they wanted to take the match back and give Diaz the goal
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher questioned why play wasn’t brought back at the time
Gary Neville, who was doing commentary for Sky Sports, has tweeted this evening that he thought that the referee looked like he wanted to take the game back and award a goal.
He wrote on X: ‘I’m pretty sure if you look at the refs face they were thinking of taking the game back and say it was a goal. There is a moment where the ref looks sick!
‘On the gantry (you can’t see this at home) the VAR screen was locked on the offside decision whilst the game went on. They knew pretty much straight away but for some reason didn’t go back or can’t through rules go back!!
PGMOL in their statement had acknowledged that a ‘significant human error’ had been made.
The statement read: ‘PGMOL acknowledge a significant human error occurred during the first half of Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool.
‘The goal but Luis Diaz was disallowed for offside by the on-field team of match officials. This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention, however, the VAR failed to intervene.
‘PGMOL will conduct a full review into the circumstances which led to the error.
‘PGMOL will immediately be contacting Liverpool at the conclusion of the fixture to acknowledge the error.’
The goal came about when Liverpool countered just moments after Jones was sent off. Mohamed Salah played through Diaz, who slotted home, but the goal was immediately flagged offside.
Neville slammed the decision on Sky Sports, saying: ‘We have the lines on the pitch. These groundspeople never get a line wrong. They are so accurate. Look at the lines on the pitch.
beIN Sports drew their own lines on their broadcast to show how the goal should have stood
Spurs eventually won the game when Joel Matip scored an own goal deep into stoppage time
Gary Neville slammed the decision for being made ‘too quick’ when speaking on Sky Sports
Shocking mistake, but this is nothing to do with the drawing of lines.
The VAR have missed the Spurs centre back & have gone off Diaz clearly ahead of the full back.
This season when an offside has been obvious they have tried to speed it up by getting the game going quickly…
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) September 30, 2023
‘I’ve defended VAR offsides as a matter of fact. There’s been a few I thought that’s not right. To me that one there… just no. It was all too quick. It was so quick. It wasn’t right. At the time I was like, OK let’s move on.
‘That is clearly Romero’s foot and Diaz’s shoulder. There’s only two players in shot. It’s almost now like what are they doing? They’re picking the wrong cameras to do the lines on… the wrong angles. It’s just weird! Something doesn’t feel right.’
Carragher also posted on X: ‘Shocking mistake, but this is nothing to do with the drawing of lines. The VAR have missed the Spurs centre back & have gone off Diaz clearly ahead of the full back.
‘This season when an offside has been obvious they have tried to speed it up by getting the game going quickly again & not drew the lines. An awful mistake to not see the Spurs defender with the outstretched leg.’
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, led the protests when speaking to Sky Sports after the game.
Although he was reluctant to criticise too heavily as it is ‘expensive’, he did express general frustrations at the quality of officiating in the league.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expressed his anger at the decision following full time
Klopp was angered by the decision and said after that he knew the goal should have stood
‘On the pitch, never. We saw it. Never offside. Half-time first thing, they drew the lines wrong,’ he began.
‘I didn’t hear anything. Somebody opened the phone and Instagram, Twitter, someone put it on. It’s clear they drew the line wrong and didn’t judge the moment when Mo passed the ball. I’m pretty sure people will speak about that.
He added: ‘What it does today is undermine other decisions. You start to undermine the process of offside. That is a really bad one. On the point of who does it help that Klopp said, I’m disappointed in that.
‘A lot of people in football don’t say sorry and blame other people. The idea that the referees have come out and said I got it wrong, it’s human error, they admitted their mistake. You don’t get many players owning up, including myself.
‘I don’t want to see someone lose their job but it’s a really bad one. I hope the person who has done it can get a couple of games off but can come back in. Liverpool fans cannot see that. I feel sorry for them! It’s me going soft after 11 years at Man United.
‘You have to feel a degree of empathy. It undermines offsides. I was worried about offsides for a few weeks. I thought some things were not right.’
‘It’s so tough to deal with it. I really thought during the game we were really calm. It was difficult to deal with. You see that and think, OK, wow a red card? Next red card too? Today is a proper knock for us as we would have celebrated a point, now no point. That’s not cool. Performance is incredible. I loved that.
Mohamed Salah ‘liked’ a tweet proving the goal was onside on X – his first like since 2017
‘Who does that help? We had it in the Man United game. Did Wolves get points for it? We won’t. It doesn’t help. Nobody expects 100 per cent right decision on field. We thought VAR might make it easier.
‘Why are they under that much pressure for the decision to be made really quick today? It changed the momentum. In a game where you don’t get a lot, that’s super important. It was super difficult.
When pushed on the error, he replied: ‘I will not follow on that path. It may be funny for you but for me it’s just expensive’, before leaving the interview.
Reds forward Salah, who was frustrated after setting up the strike, ‘liked’ a post on X proving the decision was wrong – his first like since 2017.