Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi rages at referees after his side had a second half penalty appeal turned down when Virgil van Dijk handballed in the area

  •  Brighton rescued a point against Liverpool in an enthralling 2-2 draw
  • Mohammed Salah grabbed a brace with Lewis Dunk  equalising for Brighton
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Last week it was Jurgen Klopp, this week it is Roberto De Zerbi questioning refereeing decisions after his Brighton side drew with Liverpool in a thrilling encounter.

The Seagulls had a penalty appeal turned down in the second half when the ball bounced from Virjil van Dijk’s leg and on to his arm, leaving Brighton manager De Zerbi furious. ‘It was a clear penalty and I told the referee what I thought,’ the Italian said.

De Zerbi was booked by Anthony Taylor for his protests, before Klopp hugged the Brighton boss in a bid to calm him down.

‘I love Klopp,’ De Zerbi said. ‘He can do what he wants because I have big respect. I consider him one of the best coaches in the world. When he says something, 99 per cent I agree with him.’

Roberto De Zerbi was sent four apology emails by PGMOL last season for mistakes in games

The two managers have struck up a complimentary relationship after both struggling with VAR

The two managers have struck up a complimentary relationship after both struggling with VAR

Klopp returned the compliments to the Italian, who he is yet to beat in four attempts.

‘I have to say I cannot respect more what he’s doing,’ Klopp said. ‘I’m a football lover — the impact he’s had on football should not be underestimated. 

‘When he got outraged, I used my age and tried to calm him down. I think he was close to the point of not coming back — I tried to calm him down. He wanted a penalty.’

Despite the refereeing decisions, both managers agreed that a draw was a fair result, though De Zerbi insisted that his side were better.

‘It’s a good point but in the 90 minutes, we played better than Liverpool,’ he said. ‘We conceded two goals in a very bad way. We didn’t understand how we were losing. In general, it was a good game, both teams played well.’

Meanwhile, Klopp admitted that Ryan Gravenberch should have converted from a few yards out at 2-1 to put the game to bed. Instead the Dutchman hit the bar when it looked easier to score.

‘It is clear in the second half we should have scored and made it 3-1,’ Klopp said. ‘There were one or two really good opportunities but because we didn’t score there we keep the game open.

‘It was intense for both teams. I think it is the right result in the end.’


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