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Klopp Blames Ref As Liverpool Held At Sunderland

Jurgen Klopp says he struggled to accept the refereeing decisions which saw Liverpool twice throw away a lead at Sunderland.

Liverpool were 2-1 up with five minutes to go when Anthony Taylor awarded the Black Cats a penalty after Jermain Defoe fell under the challenge of Lucas Leiva.

Liverpool striker Saido Mane, scorer of his side’s second goal, handled from Seb Larsson’s subsequent deadball effort and Defoe netted his second of the afternoon from the penalty spot.

“It is tough for me to accept. If there is no free-kick, there is no handball” said an irate Klopp.

“And there was no foul for the free-kick. I saw it again and there was no contact.

“It was also 100 per cent a foul on Daniel Sturridge (at the other end).

“It was a similar situation and we would have had a chance to shoot at somebody’s arm.

“Obviously we didn’t get that chance.”

Earlier, Taylor had given a penalty when Dider Ndong went down as he attempted to drive by Ragnar Klavan inside the area. Defoe slotted home to cancel out Daniel Sturridge’s opener, another decision that upset the Reds boss.

“Ndong jumps in the box. It’s a penalty because the referee decides it was.

“I must be honest, it doesn’t feel good. Sunderland got a point because of two penalties.”

It was a day in the title race where the referee’s played a major role in the outcome of the games. Refereeing decisions helped title contenders Manchester City and Manchester United win against Burnley and West Ham respectively, while decisions cost Liverpool two points at Sunderland.