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Liverpool were done wrong by the referees again vs. Brighton

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Liverpool were done wrong by the referees again vs. Brighton

Liverpool and Brighton played out one of the biggest matches of the Premier League weekend on Sunday afternoon. Although the Reds went down early, they equalized after a lovely move, finished off by Mohamed Salah.

From then on, Liverpool were the better side, and they managed to get their second goal via a penalty from Salah, as star midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai had the back of his shirt pulled by Pascal Groß just before he could get a shot off with the goal gaping at his mercy.

Salah converted the penalty, so all is well, right?

Not so fast.

That’s because Brighton equalized via a beautiful free kick from Solly March to Lewis Dunk, making it 2-2.

The outcome of this match, a 2-2 draw, could have been VERY different if official Anthony Taylor made a different decision on the first-half penalty in which Groß fouled Salah.

Groß was inexplicably not booked despite dragging Szoboszlai by his shirt collar with no attempt to play the ball. Szoboszlai would have almost certainly scored in that situation, so this was an intentional foul from Groß with the intent of denying a goal-scoring opportunity – or DOGSO.

The rule states that if a player denies a goal-scoring opportunity in the penalty box, it is a yellow card. However, if they deny a goal-scoring opportunity with no attempt to play the ball, the offense is a red card.

In this case, Groß did not attempt to play the ball. He saw that Szoboszlai was about to score, he was behind Szoboszlai with the player about to shoot, and so he pulled on the attacking player’s collar while maintaining contact until the Liverpool man went to the ground.

It may seem harsh because it was not a dangerous tackle, but, by the law, it should have been a red card and a completely different game for Brighton and Liverpool. Without Groß on the pitch, Liverpool could have had more control and more of an impetus to kill the game off, perhaps never conceding the 2-2 equalizer.

There needs to be more consistency in Premier League officiating. Whereas other leagues follow their rules to the letter, the Premier League officials make too many judgment calls, so there is no consistency. In other leagues like the Bundesliga and even MLS, DOGSO is taken very seriously and is an automatic red, because it is unfair for defenders to be able to pull attacking players to the ground in obvious goal-scoring situations without a proper consequence. The implication on the game is a negative one, because it means it is worth it for defenders to take risks and not even actually defend

Liverpool were not as hard done by as in their match against Tottenham. Still, their supporters should rightfully complain about this poor decision from Taylor and the officials responsible for the match vs. Brighton. At the least, how Groß didn’t even get a yellow card for denying a clear scoring opportunity is beyond comprehension.

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