Leeds United manager Javi Gracia reacts to his team’s 6-1 loss to Liverpool and discusses the VAR incident
Javi Gracia has questioned the decision that led to Leeds United’s heaviest home league defeat to Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota each scored twice as the Reds cruised to a 6-1 victory at Elland Road on Monday night. Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez also scored.
Liverpool’s first goal was marred by controversy, as the ball struck Trent Alexander-Arnold on the arm as he attempted to block a pass from Leeds defender Junior Firpo during the build-up.
And Gracia struggled to hide his displeasure with the decision, with officials ruling it to be an unintentional handball and VAR unable to intervene.
“I asked the assistant, and he said they only checked for offside,” Leeds manager said. “On the pitch, that was my explanation. That it was a goal, not handball.
“I don’t want to talk about that goal after conceding six.” But you and I are aware of what occurred.”
Leeds were thrashed 5-1 at home by Crystal Palace the previous weekend and are now two points above the relegation zone.
“Before the game, we all knew it would be difficult for us to play against such a good team,” Gracia said. “It would be extremely difficult for us if we did not give our best effort.”
“We started competing in the game, and we had some chances with Rodrigo, options to attack the opposing box.” But then, when we conceded the goal, something similar happened as in previous games when we lost our composure and conceded goals.”
“There was a moment in the second half when we scored a goal and maybe we felt like we could compete again in the game,” Gracia continued, “but another mistake gave them the chance to score the third goal and after that it was very, very difficult to manage.”
“Liverpool performed admirably, but we must now concentrate on ourselves and our upcoming games.” The fans want to see us play like we did in the previous games and try to improve our level. What we’re seeing is insufficient; we need to improve for the seven finals.”