Paul Tierney is the VAR for Liverpool’s clash with Bournemouth – just three months after Jurgen Klopp was banned for accusing the referee of bias

Jurgen Klopp and Paul Tierney will renew their acquaintance once again since their controversial spat when the official makes up part of the refereeing team for Saturday’s game with Bournemouth at Anfield.

Tierney will be in the VAR hotseat for the game, assisted by Constantine Hatzidakis – who was seen apparently elbowing Andy Robertson in the face during a 2-2 draw with Arsenal last season.

Thomas Bramall will be out in the middle at Anfield, assisted by Simon Bennett and Dan Robathan.

Tierney and Klopp have a frosty history, with a number of Liverpool games that he has officiated in seeing moments of controversy involving the German manager.

The first incident came in 2020 when Klopp was left fuming after a perceived missed foul on Georginio Wijnaldum, with Tierney then blowing prematurely for half-time with the Reds through on goal in January 2021.

Later that year a third incident involving the two culminated in Klopp marching up to the referee and declare: ‘I have no problem with any referees… only you.’

Klopp felt Harry Kane should have been sent off for a tackle on Andy Robertson – the striker was shown a yellow instead – and later Robertson was himself dismissed for a reckless hack on Emerson Royal after Tierney checked VAR replays.

It was reported at the time that Klopp waited for Tierney in the tunnel at half-time.

The draw meant Liverpool, in the midst of a squad Covid outbreak, lost ground to Man City in the title race and with emotions running high, Klopp said: “I really have no idea what his [Tierney’s] problem is with me. Honestly, I have no idea.

“You just need an objective ref who sees the situations and trust them. I think we all agree it is a clear red card. You have to ask Mr Tierney.”

The most recent crossing of their paths left Klopp on the wrong side of a two-match suspension and a huge £75,000 fine after his comments were deemed to be improper conduct.

It was a clash that saw emotions run high with the Reds narrowly beating Tottenham 4-3, with Klopp in fact pulling his hamstring when running to celebrate close to fourth official John Brooks, having been incensed about an earlier decision that Tierney had made.

Klopp was handed a £75,000 fine after the PGMOL felt his comments about Tierney called his integrity into question last season.

He was relegated to the stands for the final home game of the season, with the second game of his suspension put on hold unless he should break FA Rule E3 before May 2024.

In a terse post-match interview the PGMOL felt that the manager’s tone had brought Tierney’s integrity into question, although Klopp later apologised for his actions.

He said: “I am sorry for my reaction in that immediate moment when I ran towards the fourth official, Mr Brooks and I fully accepted a caution was justified. I accepted that then and I accept now that a yellow card was correct.

“Equally I am sorry for some of the tone and content of my post-match interview. ‘Although it was not my intention I accept now it appears that I was questioning Mr Tierney’s integrity. I take ownership. On reflection, the words I used were inappropriate. Both of these incidents were driven by emotion.”



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