BY SAM SMITH
Luka Milivojevic says he does not want VAR in English football – despite Mohamed Salah earning a soft penalty against Crystal Palace.
Salah appeared to initiate contact from Mamadou Sakho to win a spot-kick as Liverpool defeated the Eagles 2-0 on Monday night.
But Milivojevic – who experienced VAR with Serbia at the World Cup – does not believe technology is the answer.
He said: “I do not want VAR in this league. In this country you have the best referees in the world. That is my opinion and I do not think VAR will help.
“They are human beings, and they make mistakes sometimes. In his opinion he [the referee] did the right thing. As players, we have to respect the referee. We are not a team who will cry over that penalty, we just carry on.
“It was not a penalty. During the game that was my opinion and after the game when I saw the image, Mama [Sakho] tried to touch the ball and he did not touch the man.
“He fell down and for the referee it was a penalty. I did not see the contact on Salah.
“That is my opinion, the referee has his opinion. This is one of the best referees in the country, they are human beings. From my point of view it was not, from his point of view it was. That is football.”
The Palace captain led the protests in the immediate aftermath of referee Michael Oliver pointing to the spot. The 27-year-old was then seen speaking to the Egyptian – who was covering his mouth as he responded.
And Milivojevic revealed that he was trying to get Salah to tell Oliver that it was not a penalty: “I told him ‘say to the referee it was not a penalty’. But he said ‘it was’. From his [the referee] point of view it was a penalty as well.
“This is not the first mistake in football. We were angry in the first minute but in football you do not have time to cry, we carried on, we tried in the second half. We had some good chances. Okay, we lost but we have to be proud.”
The defeat is Palace’s first of the season, following their opening day victory against Fulham. But they played well against the Reds and created plenty of chances.
Andros Townsend smacked the bar with a long-distance effort before Milivojevic had a free-kick excellently saved by Alisson Becker.
And the Serbian felt the South Londoners deserved a point: “We have to be proud of our performance. We deserved one point. Liverpool are a team who played in the Champions League final, and are favourites to take the Premier League this season.
“Our fans should be proud of our performance. In a few weeks, no one will remember our performance, that is football. For sure it hurts us because I think we deserve more, but from tomorrow, we prepare again. This is behind us.”
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