Liverpool missed the opportunity to qualify for the Europa League knockout stage after VAR ruled out Jarell Quansah’s injury-time goal in a 3-2 defeat to Toulouse.
The 20-year-old, who stepped in for the sick Virgil van Dijk, thought he had salvaged a point in the seventh minute of added time, but the referee, Georgi Kabakov, disallowed the goal for a handball by Alexis Mac Allister in the build-up.
The decision was controversial and compounded a poor performance by Liverpool, who made nine changes and lacked cohesion and quality. Toulouse, who had only three wins before this game and had lost 5-1 at Anfield two weeks ago, took advantage of Liverpool’s defensive errors and scored three goals.
Liverpool still lead the group, but their lead has been reduced to two points and they have two games left to play. Jürgen Klopp’s 450th game in charge was one to forget as Liverpool suffered their first European loss this season.
The only positive news for Liverpool came before the game, when they learned that Luis Díaz’s father had been freed after being kidnapped for 12 days in Colombia.
On the pitch, Liverpool were punished for Kostas Tsimikas’ mistake, which led to Toulouse’s opening goal, and conceded two more in the second half.
Liverpool got a lifeline when Cristian Cásseres scored an own goal to make it 2-1, but they quickly gave away another goal and had to wait until the 89th minute for Diogo Jota to create some late drama.
Liverpool started well, with Joe Gomez, who has never scored for Liverpool in 188 games, hitting the bar with a flick from Cody Gakpo’s cross. Díaz won a free-kick after beating Mikkel Desler twice and his header from Gomez’s cross was volleyed over by Mac Allister, with Guillaume Restes saving Ben Doak’s shot.
Toulouse warned Liverpool when Gabriel Suazo missed a chance at the far post from Niklas Schmidt’s cross. Seven minutes later, Tsimikas lost the ball to Donnum, who ran into the box and scored with a shot that deflected off Quansah’s leg.
Wataru Endo, who had been booked, was lucky not to be sent off for a foul on Cásseres, but he was substituted at half-time along with Tsimikas. Dominik Szoboszlai and Trent Alexander-Arnold came on, with Doak making way for Mohamed Salah.
Toulouse exploited the space behind Alexander-Arnold, with Gomez moving to left-back, and Suazo cut inside Quansah and shot wide.
Thijs Dallinga outsmarted Joel Matip on 58 minutes, when Díaz gave the ball away on the left, and scored with his first two touches from Suazo’s pass.
Liverpool got a lucky goal in the 74th minute, when Gomez’s header was turned in by Cásseres.
But their luck ran out soon after, when Frank Magri finished Suazo’s cross. Jota’s run and shot gave Quansah a chance to be a hero, but VAR dashed his hopes.”
Source: Match Highlights