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Referees’ governing body admits ‘significant human error’ after Liverpool’s 2-1 loss at Tottenham

LONDON (AP) — The referees’ governing body in England admitted a “significant human error” after Luis Diaz had a goal ruled offside in Liverpool’s 2-1 loss at Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday.

Diaz struck what he thought was a 34th-minute goal in the match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, only for it to be ruled out.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) later admitted the mistake.

“The goal by Luiz Diaz was disallowed for offside by the on-field team of match officials,” it said in a statement. “This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention, however, the VAR failed to intervene.”

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The PGMOL said it would conduct a full review into the matter.

That does not help Liverpool after it missed the chance to move to the top of the table following Manchester City’s surprising 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton earlier Saturday.

“We will not get points for it so it doesn’t help. Nobody expects 100% right decisions on field but we all thought when VAR comes in that it might make things easier,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said.

Joel Matip’s own-goal deep into stoppage time handed Tottenham the win in a game that also saw Liverpool reduced to nine men.

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Liverpool looked set to hold on for a draw before Matip turned Pedro Porro’s low cross into his own net in the sixth minute of added-on time.

The visitors had Curtis Jones sent off in the 26th minute for a reckless challenge on Yves Bissouma and had to play the last 20 minutes, plus stoppage time, with nine men after substitute Diogo Jota picked up two yellow cards in quick succession.

Liverpool would have gone top of the standings with a win. Tottenham moves up to second, overtaking the Merseyside club.

Jones was shown a red card after a VAR review. He was initially given a yellow card by referee Simon Hooper after he caught Bissouma late in a tackle but it was upgraded after the official consulted the pitchside monitor.

Replays showed Jones had gone over the ball and connected with his studs into Bissouma’s shin, which resulted in VAR calling for a review.

Tottenham opened the scoring in the 36th minute through Son Heung-min. Maddison played through Richarlison on the left and he squared for Son to tap home for his sixth goal of the season.

Two minutes earlier, the offside flag denied Liverpool when Diaz rifled into the bottom corner, but was ruled to be marginally offside.

Liverpool hit back in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time when Virgil van Dijk’s header across goal was controlled by Cody Gakpo, who turned and fired past Guglielmo Vicario.

Gakpo had been down moments earlier after he was caught by Destiny Udogie and appeared in pain following the goal, but was eventually fine to carry on.

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Liverpool was dealt another blow when Jota was sent off. He was cautioned by Hooper for a late tackle on Udogie in the 68th minute and within 120 seconds had received another yellow card for catching Udogie again.

Despite Liverpool being down to nine, Tottenham initially made little impact against a compact defense — Richarlison headed straight at goalkeeper Alisson early in added time — and Liverpool had chances to find a winning goal on the counter before Matip’s own-goal decided the game.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer