Every contentious decision from Liverpool's defeat to Tottenham – ranked

There is a serious argument in favour of yesterday's refereeing performance being the worst in Premier League history.

Despite displaying grit and determination in a gutsy performance, nine-man Liverpool suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Tottenham during Saturday's evening kick-off.

Conceding a last-minute Joel Matip own goal, the Reds were condemned to their first loss of the Premier League season - however, the result was far from the main topic of discussion after the final whistle.

The contest was marred by a plethora of egregious decisions from the officials, seemingly all of which Liverpool bore the brunt of.

From the incorrect denial of Luis Diaz's opener to the questionable and bewildering circumstances surrounding the sending offs of Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota, referee Simon Hooper and VAR Darren England produced what can only be described as a disasterclass in officiating.

As the dust continues to settle, here's a rundown of all the contentious decisions from yesterday's contest - ranked on a scale of deplorability.

Time to relive it.

7. Simon Hooper's erroneous advantages

We start off by combining a couple calls into one - all of which show that Simon Hooper really needs to read up on what 'playing advantage' entails.

With the game tied and Liverpool under the cosh late on, Ryan Gravenberch received the ball and looked to break away on the counter.

He beats his man, giving him space to drive into and providing a chance for Liverpool to storm up the other end in search of a winner - then suddenly, Hooper brings the game back for a foul on the edge of Alisson's area. Bewildering.

He played the same trick a few minutes later - the ball is heading out for a corner, which would have handed the Reds one last opportunity to whip the ball in and grab a goal.

Instead, Hooper blows the whistle for a Liverpool free-kick on the halfway line - a much worse position for a last-gasp set piece.

In another game, these sort of decisions could probably be excused, thus their low ranking.

However, after the refereeing omnishambles Liverpool fans had already been forced to endure, these calls were sure to add fuel to the fire.

6. Udogie not booked for dissent

Not the last time we'll mention the Destiny Udogie incident on this list.

The Italian full-back, who was already in the book, signalled to the referee to show Diogo Jota a yellow card after he was supposedly tripped up (we'll get onto that). A bookable offence.

Lucky for him, his reaction was ignored.

Given how Hooper dealt with supposed dissent later in the game, he was very lucky not to receive a second yellow for his troubles.

That brings us on to...

5. Bissouma slips, Salah booked

© Proshots - Mohamed Salah

At 1-1, Yves Bissouma was under pressure from Mo Salah on the edge of his own area, and after slipping while trying to shield the ball, he was dispossessed in a very dangerous area by Salah, giving Liverpool a great chance to score.

Hooper to the rescue!

The ref penalises Salah for a foul, a decision the Egyptian is rightly outraged by - and for his reaction, Salah is booked for dissent.

Keep it consistent, at least.

4. Van de Ven crashes into Gomez

Liverpool had a massive penalty shout in the first half when Mickey van de Van clattered into Joe Gomez in the area, bringing both men down.

It looked pretty stonewall. Replays showed Van de Ven got none of the ball, kicking nothing but grass after cutting in front of the Liverpool defender.

But alas, no action was taken.

3. Jones' red card

One of the many 'turning points' of the game.

Liverpool were handed their third red card of the season 24 minutes into the contest - and like the two before it, many question marks hung over the decision.

Going in for a 50-50, Curtis Jones' foot caught the top of the ball, inadvertently slipping over and planting into the bottom of Bissouma's shin.

The thing that angered most fans about this was the referee's assessment of the foul when he was called over to the pitch-side screen by VAR.

After taking little more than a glance at the incident, looking predominantly at the still image of the impact (which always makes the foul look worse than it is), Hooper made up his mind and dismissed Jones.

An incredibly harsh decision, and one that put Liverpool at an early disadvantage.

2. Jota blamed for Udogie's clumsiness

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota walks off after being shown a red card and sent off during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This one was particularly infuriating.

Diogo Jota had the misfortune of being behind Udogie when the defender tripped himself up and went to ground like he'd been shot in the leg.

Hooper, easily influenced by soap opera acting, gave Jota a yellow card. Booked for literally nothing.

This would prove painfully significant when minutes later, Jota was shown his second yellow for a rash, late challenge on the same man, putting Liverpool down to nine men.

The second foul was undoubtedly a booking, and knowing he was already on a caution, there was little excuse for the Liverpool forward to go flying in like that.

However, that's not the issue here. Jota should have never been on a yellow card in the first place.

For most matches, it would take the cake as the worst call of the game.

Not this one, though.

1. Diaz wrongfully ruled offside

Oh look, the bailiffs have arrived to take away my will to live.

The biggest instance of human error in VAR since the infamous (and sole) failure of GDS during Aston Villa's clash with Sheffield United in 2020.

At 0-0, Luis Diaz ran on to Salah's through ball to score past Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario, but was flagged offside by the on-field officials.

Replays showed that the Columbian was actually in line with the trailing leg of Cristian Romero.

But due to a massive, incomprehensable failure in communication between Darren England, who was in charge of VAR, and those at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the decision was not rectified and Diaz's opener was ruled out.

Two minutes later, Heung-min Son went up the other end and gave Spurs the advantage. We know how the rest of the contest played out.

The incident completely changed the course of the game and robbed Liverpool of a crucial lead.

PGMOL have apologised and acknowledged that a 'significant human error' had occurred, but that all means very little to Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, who at the hands of shoddy refereeing have been dealt their first defeat of the season.

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