Deep into first-half injury time, a VAR review by referee Anthony Taylor resulted in Reece James being shown a red card for handball and Liverpool being awarded a penalty. To make things even worse, after Mohamed Salah had equalised from the spot, N’Golo Kante was forced off with an injury during the break.
Tuchel discussed the first of those two set-backs at length, feeling the combination of the conceding a goal and going down to 10 men was particularly tough to swallow.
‘Double punishment is always super hard and it was a bit of a spoiler, but I think it’s the rule now if the referee says he denies a clear goal with his hand,’ said our head coach. ‘I don’t like these early red cards in general, not just when it’s us but when I’m watching on TV, because for me it spoils the game. Nobody wants to see that for 45 minutes, they want to see a high-level game.
‘The situation itself, I can understand the decision and I’m not saying it’s a wrong decision, but I did not like the way the referee checked it. He checked only the image which showed the contact and then it was a clear decision. On the bench we saw also the whole movement and you saw it was a deflection at short distance, it comes off his hip to his arm, the arm is not in a super unnatural arm position.
‘I have heard referees already saying this is not a punishable action. I would have wished for a longer consideration and a better view on the whole situation. Maybe he would have taken the same decision, it remains a grey situation, and I can live with it that some decisions stay in the responsibility for the referee in the moment.’