Liverpool denied blatant penalty in Man City draw

Liverpool denied blatant penalty in Man City draw

Despite praising Liverpool's performance yesterday, Jurgen Klopp has every right to feel aggrieved that Liverpool were not awarded a 97th-minute penalty against Manchester City.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, but the image below is screaming just one word - PENALTY!

Liverpool denied blatant penalty in Man City draw

That is of course, unless you're Michael Oliver and Stuart Attwell, in which case you think it's perfectly acceptable for a player to raise their foot above another player's waist, and kick them in the chest.

If this type of 'tackle' occurred anywhere on the pitch, it would be a free-kick and a yellow card - possibly even a red card for endangering another player.  But when it happens in the penalty area, at the end of the most important game of the season, both the referee and VAR choose to ignore it and wave play-on.

Watching the incident in real-time it was 'clear and obvious' that Doku had committed a foul, but when you slow it down and look at the image above, it seems impossible that the Officials did not award a penalty.  Yet that is what happened, with VAR taking just 20 seconds to decide that no foul had been committed.  20 seconds?  Most offside decisions take 3-4 minutes to review, so how can such an important review, in a game as big and important as this one, take just 20 seconds to complete...?

Sadly, this is not the first time Liverpool has been on the end of terrible refereeing decisions this season.  The Curtis Jones red card against Tottenham, not to mention Luis Diaz's perfectly good goal in the same game being disallowed, are just two examples of how the Reds have been unfairly treated by the Officials.  Opposition fans will, of course, argue that Liverpool have also benefitted from refereeing decisions, such as the one at the end of the Nottingham Forest match recently, but overall,  the Reds can feel very harshly treated by referees over the season.

Thankfully, Alexis Mac Allister did not suffer any lasting damage from Doku's 'tackle', though I am sure he has some nasty stud marks on his chest today.  The long-term ramifications of the decision will not be known until the end of the season.  If Liverpool misses out on the title by a single point, particularly if it is City that wins it, then the Reds can rightly feel cheated by the referees.  On the other hand, if Liverpool does go on to lift the title, then they can bask in the glory of knowing that they not only beat the best teams in the league but also the PGMOL as well!

What players and pundits made of the incident

Jurgen Klopp, speaking after the match,

"It's a penalty for all football people on the planet. All the people with iPads around me were 'wow, clear'. Maybe they can hide behind the phrase it is not clear and obvious."

Ex-referee, Mark Clattenburg, who now works as a referee consultant with Nottingham Forest,

"Liverpool should have been awarded a stoppage-time penalty against Manchester City but this is the problem in the Premier League right now referees are making mistakes in matches and not being helped by their VARs."

"The ball bounces up. Alexis Mac Allister moves towards it. Jeremy Doku's foot is high. He catches Mac Allister in the chest.  Outside of the box, this would have resulted in a free-kick, every day of the week. Just because it happened inside the box does not suddenly transform it into a clean challenge when Mac Allister might be left playing connect the dots on his chest on Monday morning."

"Referee Michael Oliver missed it in real-time at the end of an exhausting and exhilarating contest and so it was on VAR Stuart Attwell to intervene. This is where the frustration lies we have seen similar incidents this weekend where Stockley Park should have told their colleagues on the ground that they had missed a penalty or a red card but didn't."

Liverpool midfielder, Alexis Mac Allister, speaking after the full-time whistle,

"I think it's a clear penalty, I cannot say much more. “I think the ref did a very good job throughout the game, but I think he made a mistake in the last decision."

Ex-referee, Mike Dean, speaking on Sky Sports during the match, 

"I think he's touched the ball Doku but with the follow through he's caught him right in the chest. I think it could be a penalty. It's a massive decision by the VAR. Tiny touch on the ball, but the follow through's caught him on the ribcage……He's very, very fortunate in my opinion there Doku."

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... About The Author ...

Peter Farrell :: LFC - Back On Our Perch Author and Editor

Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 500

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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