Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed female centre referee, Stephanie Frappart of France, her assistants – Italy’s Manuela Nicolisi and Michelle O’Neill of the Republic of Ireland, for brilliant performance in their Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup match against Chelsea at the Vodaphone Park, Istanbul, Turkey.
Frappart went into history books as the the first female referee to officiate a high profile men’s match as the UEFA Super Cup, and Klopp rates her and the assistants highly, ignoring a few skirmishes witnessed in the match.
Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra time. Frappart did well to rule out goals by Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount for being marginally offside.
Olivier Girioud shot Chelsea into the lead in the 36th minute, but Sadio Mane equalized for Liverpool in the 48th minute
Mane pounced again in the 5th minute of extra time to put the Champions League kings ahead, and Klopp’s men looked destined to win it inside 120 minutes. But Frappart awarded Chelsea a late penalty after goalkeeper Adrian crashed into goal-bound Tammy Abraham. Jorginho converted the spot-kick to end it 2-2
And the explosive game had to be decided via penalty shootout.
That penalty call was disputed by Klopp, but he played it down while appraising the the female referees’ overall performance in the match.
“I told the ref team after the game that if we would have played like they whistled, we would have won 6-0,” he told a press conference.
“That was my absolute opinion. They played a brilliant game.
“I told her as well that I am not happy with the penalty decision because I’m still not sure that it was a penalty, but it’s not important anymore.
“They were really good. Whatever you could have thought before the game, there was pressure on them like hell with an historic moment.
“Staying by yourself, staying calm and do what you have to do, decide very important things in a very difficult and intense game, I couldn’t have more respect, to be honest.
“It was really a brilliant performance.”
Klopp also reflected on the offside calls against his team:
“I spoke to the fourth official about the late offside decisions. It’s really difficult,” he said.
“I think really it’s worth it to talk about again because it’s like they have to wait and that’s like how the protocol wants us to do it.
“But it’s just difficult to judge a situation in a game. How can we see the player there, over there? It’s not possible. You would think it’s not offside.”