James Milner fears he cannot be alone in ‘falling out of love’ with football after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Brighton was dominated by a series of controversial VAR decisions.
The Premier League champions looked on course to be heading three points clear at the top following Diogo Jota’s ninth goal of an increasingly prolific campaign for the summer signing from Wolves.
Liverpool would have been further clear had Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane not seen goals ruled out for offside either side of Jota’s opener and Jurgen Klopp’s frustration was compounded in injury time.
Stuart Attwell had initially deemed Andy Robertson’s challenge on Danny Welbeck not worthy of a penalty but changed his mind after he was invited to view the pitchside monitor.
Pascal Gross tucked away the resulting spot kick to earn a point for the home side and Milner, who suffered a hamstring injury in the second half which could rule him out for at least three weeks, fears for the future of a game with the rules as they currently are.
He wrote on Instagram: ‘It’s ‘clear and obvious’ we need a serious discussion about VAR. Sure I’m not alone in feeling like they are falling out of love with the game in its current state.’
Those sentiments were echoed by his captain Jordan Henderson who was left fuming after the loss of two valuable points.
He said: ‘It was ours. It should be three points, in my opinion. I’ve seen the replay. Who would be happy? It’s not a pen.’
‘Danny Welbeck said to me it wasn’t a penalty. There were four or five of them who felt it wasn’t a penalty.
‘To overturn it, it has to be clear and obvious. Is that a clear and obvious penalty, to go to the screen and overturn it.
‘Obviously the referees know better than us, but I thought the lads were brilliant today and deserve the three points.’