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Ref watch; Why VAR Backed Referee’s Call to Deny Liverpool Penalty is now EXPOSED

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Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has backed VAR’s decision not to award Liverpool a penalty at the end of their draw with Manchester City.

The Anfield tussle ended in a stalemate following goals from John Stones and Alexis Mac Allister, though there was some discussion post-match on the incident involving City winger Jeremy Doku and the Reds’ goalscorer.

Doku studs planted in the chest of Mac Allister as he attempted to clear the ball inside his own box but referee Michael Oliver decided the offence did not warrant a penalty.

The coming together was checked by VAR, who also decided against awarding the home side a spot-kick.

Gallagher admitted that on further reflection, Doku’s challenge would have been ‘easy to give’ as a penalty but argued that as the Belgian got the ball, the official in Stockley Park was justified in sticking with the on-field decision.

‘From my point of view, it’s easy to give the penalty.’ He said on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch. ‘If you give it, there won’t be much talk about it.

‘Doku gets the ball, there’s no doubt about that – the argument is, does getting the ball negate a penalty?

‘Well, we saw at Bournemouth [recently], no. VAR is sure Doku gets the ball, he’s right, so he decides to go with the on-field decision of no penalty.

‘It raises lots of dilemmas, I think there would be less argument if it was given as a penalty. I’m surprised there is a wide split. It’s a big, big call. He made the decision based on what he saw.’

Jurgen Klopp had no doubt the tackle should have seen his side handed another opportunity from the spot deep into stoppage-time.

Why would the guy in the (VAR) studio think that is not clear and obvious?’ Klopp said post-match. ‘What must you have for lunch if you think that is not clear and obvious? I’m really not angry, it’s just the situation. It’s fine. I’m so happy about the way we played today.’

 

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