Football: Liverpool boss Klopp says VAR has changed his touchline behaviour; Lovren out of Club World Cup

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp remonstrates with a match official during the English Premier League match against Watford at Anfield on Dec 14, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS/ACTION IMAGES

(REUTERS, AFP) - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he now waits to celebrate goals on the touchline because of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), after Sadio Mane's effort was ruled out for offside in Saturday's (Dec 14) 2-0 English Premier League win over Watford.

Mane thought he had put Liverpool ahead 2-0 with a glancing header after Mohamed Salah had scored the opener, but the goal was ruled out as the VAR deemed that the Senegal international forward was marginally offside.

"I don't celebrate goals any more because you have to wait until somebody says it is a goal," Klopp told reporters.

"As you can imagine, when you're winning 2-0, I'm not too concerned about it. I had no clue where it was offside.

"I thought there was one pass before where maybe it was offside, but that Sadio was offside I couldn't see."

The use of VAR, where match officials use video replays to check decisions by the referee on the pitch and flag possible mistakes, has been surrounded by controversy in recent months.

Critics say the system goes far beyond its original remit and that decisions are taking too long while Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said last week that the technology had changed the character of football.

Liverpool's victory, thanks to two superb goals by Salah that gave him four from the last three games and 13 for the season, left the league leaders 10 points ahead of their nearest challengers Leicester, who were held 1-1 at home by Norwich City.

Meanwhile, Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who sustained a muscle problem on Saturday, was named in Liverpool's 20-man squad for the Club World Cup in Qatar.

The European champions take on Mexican side Monterrey in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

But defender Dejan Lovren was not included after he picked up a similar injury at Salzburg in the Champions League last week.

A statement on Liverpool's official website confirmed the Croat's omission and Wijnaldum's inclusion.

Resources are already stretched thinly with a youth team set to play a League Cup quarter-final at Aston Villa on Tuesday, and Fabinho (ankle injury) and Joel Matip (knee) ruled out of games in the Middle East.

"With the Gini injury, Dejan three or four days ago, our squad is not getting bigger. That is not cool,"

Klopp said: "But that is the same problem if we go to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter-final."

Speaking before the squad was named, he added on Wijnaldum's injury: "It is a muscle thing and you never want that for a player. In these moments it immediately makes it more difficult."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.