Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi backs Jurgen Klopp on refereeing and believes his side will receive more apologies from PGMOL this year… after being sent a total of FOUR emails about poor officiating last season

  • Brighton have already recieved an email excuse from their 6-1 thrashing by Villa
  • Manager Roberto De Zerbi has insisted he has learnt to hold his tongue pitchside
  •  Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi could have been forgiven a hollow laugh when Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp complained about the goal his side had wrongly disallowed away to Tottenham last weekend after a failure of communication between VAR officials.

De Zerbi’s men received no fewer than four apologies from PGMOL, the referees’ organisation, last season after VAR errors – one after Liverpool’s Fabinho was not shown a red card for a foul on Albion’s Evan Ferguson in the FA Cup tie between the clubs at the Amex Stadium.

But De Zerbi revealed ahead of today’s Premier League visit of the Reds that he has no criticism of the Liverpool manager’s reaction to the incident at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which included a suggestion that the game be replayed.

‘Klopp is always right for me and I can understand him,’ the Italian said. ‘Because I felt a lot of times in my time in England what he felt last week. I think last season we lost six, eight points for refereeing mistakes and this season we received another e-mail excuse after [Brighton’s 6-1 defeat] Villa Park. But this is the way. I think we will receive a lot of emails this year as well.’

De Zerbi was shown two red cards himself last season for berating officials but claims that he has learned to bite his tongue – and any future frustrations will be vented on the VAR hardware.

Roberto De Zerbi has said he felt the scorn of poor officiating on numerous occasions last year

Jurgen Klopp was previously very vocal about the VAR's horrendous mistake vs Tottenham

Jurgen Klopp was previously very vocal about the VAR’s horrendous mistake vs Tottenham

‘I’m becoming a very good man on the bench,’ he said. ‘I’m not contesting any decision of the referee, but I’m not asleep either. At Villa Park I watched everything, I saw the second goal was offside. We have a screen on the bench and in the future I think I can break the screen.’

Brighton and De Zerbi were unbeaten in three meetings with Liverpool last season, a 3-3 draw at Anfield and Amex victories in both Premier League and FA Cup. But in all three games, Alexis Mac Allister was in blue and white. Today the midfield player returns in Liverpool red after a summer move that will eventually net the Seagulls £55 million.

De Zerbi wants the Brighton fans to give the Argentina World Cup winner a good reception. ‘I think Alexis is a great guy,’ he said. ‘He was always positive, he was one of the most important players for us to reach the Europa League. He played always with the right attitude, the right passion. 

‘After the World Cup he came back with great motivation, he felt our results, the emotion, the big motivation to reach the Europa League last season and to me he deserves a fantastic welcome.’

Alexis MacAllister is set to return to the Amex Stadium to play against his old side Brighton

Alexis MacAllister is set to return to the Amex Stadium to play against his old side Brighton


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