Amid all of the VAR controversy this week, Liverpool have been under the spotlight this season for VAR contentious decisions, receiving four red cards in their last six games.
That is as many as they have received in their last 178 games, dating back to 2022 when Darwin Nunez was sent off against Crystal Palace for his attack on Joachim Andersen. Jurgen Klopp's teams have never been nasty and vindictive in their approach, but this season could be starting to prove otherwise.
However, Liverpool have appealed the red cards of Alexis Mac Allister against Bournemouth and Curtis Jones' red against Spurs last weekend. They were successful with Mac Allister's appeal but have had their appeal rejected for Curtis Jones' suspension. Therefore there is an argument to say that Jurgen Klopp's men have been hard done by; it is clear that there is huge controversy surrounding refereeing in this country at the moment.
Liverpool have recently made a strong statement since the incorrect decisions made in the Spurs game last Saturday. The club has asked for "escalation" and "resolution" after acknowledging PGMOL's failures in their last fixture.
Liverpool's high press could be the reason behind these red cards as counter-pressing is a key part of Jurgen Klopp's system as the Reds look to win the ball back after losing it. Apart from Virgil Van Dijk's red card, the three others have come from counter-pressing scenarios.
Previously, Liverpool played with a traditional six, in the form of Fabinho. He was there to break up the play and advance the ball further up the pitch to his teammates. However, the Brazilian left in the summer transfer window and Alexis Mac Allister is seemingly playing there as a stopgap.
The summer transfer window saw a lot of new faces come in and the midfield was completely revitalised. There is more of an engine-type midfield with the acquisitions of Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister and Ryan Gravenberch in midfield. Instead of a lone six winning the ball back solo, Klopp demands pressing from all of his midfielders and this could be the reason behind the disciplinary issues this season.
It appears as if Liverpool won't be winning any fair play awards but the Reds certainly have been very unlucky with their record as most of their suspensions have been very controversial in this campaign. However, if Liverpool are to reduce their suspensions, they have to be more careful in the tackle and it is certainly something that Jurgen Klopp and his advisories will be looking to improve this season.
As the VAR controversy continues in the Premier League, the Reds must take themselves out of the limelight, despite the incorrect decision-making by VAR officials. It is vital that referees look for consistency in their officiating and ensure the safety of the players is their top priority.