Dermot Gallagher dissects the big flashpoints from the weekend’s Premier League action, including whether Phil Foden’s goal at Anfield was correctly ruled in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Manchester City.
Liverpool 1-0 Man City
INCIDENT: Phil Foden’s goal at Anfield was ruled
out for a shirt pull on Fabinho by Erling Haaland in the build-up following the intervention of the VAR.
DERMOT SAYS: They have seen a foul in the build-up, but I also think there’s a foul on the goalkeeper, Alisson. So I think it’s very hard if you watch [the shirt pull] it’s very hard to be convinced that it’s not a foul.
Danny Mills: I think it is a foul, but does Pep Guardiola have a point because all those fouls were allowed to go throughout the game? Does a referee change their opinion on a foul or the severity because it’s a goal because I think that’s where we are all a bit confused. At the end of the game, the shirt pull on Mo Salah is a lot worse of a shirt pull than that, but it isn’t given. Is it only because it’s a goal is scored that they look at it with more scrutiny?
DERMOT SAYS: It’s not more scrutiny, it’s the fact that a goal was scored. With the Salah one that led to the red card for Jurgen Klopp, I think it’s a foul and I think the assistant should flag that. It’s not given but because it doesn’t lead to a goal or a penalty or a red card on the pitch, it is not checked. That one did lead to a goal so it was checked. When you do look at it, it’s hard to say it’s not a foul and if they had checked further on I think they would give a foul on the goalkeeper as well. I was not surprised it was disallowed as well.
INCIDENT: Klopp was sent off for his angry protestations over a foul on Salah that wasn’t given.
VERDICT: It was a foul, but Klopp deserved to be sent off.
DERMOT SAYS: I thought it was a foul and easier to give a foul than not a foul. You see his reaction, he’s very angry over it and reacts out of order. The fourth official calls the referee over and he gets a red card for his behaviour on the touchline. That’s a direct result of that foul not being given, he’s berating the official because he feels the foul should have been given.
Leeds 0-1 Arsenal
INCIDENT: Patrick Bamford’s goal was ruled out for Leeds after a push on Gabriel in the penalty area.
VERDICT: It was a foul.
DERMOT SAYS: I thought it was a foul. When you see it, it’s hard to say it’s not a foul. The interesting thing is Bamford has pointed to his chest there, as if to say it isn’t a handball. But you can see quite clearly he pushes him in the back.
INCIDENT: VAR intervenes to award Leeds a penalty for a handball by Arsenal defender William Saliba – but Rasmus Kristensen was in an offside position in the build-up.
VERDICT: It was a penalty.
DERMOT SAYS: I think it’s handball. Not given on the field, given by VAR – if it wasn’t in use then it wouldn’t have been given and the referee’s decision would have been to play on. You can see that it not only hits his arm, but he moves toward the ball, so penalty for me. Rasmus Kristensen was offside, there’s no doubt about that I just think it goes on too long, the ball goes back and gets recycled. They talk about second phases and resetting, I just think it takes too long so they don’t want to go back that far. It didn’t lead directly to the goal – it leads to the goal ultimately – but there has to be a point where you say they have reset.
INCIDENT: VAR overturned the decision to send off Gabriel and award Leeds a penalty after the Arsenal defender was sent off for kicking out at Patrick Bamford after being shoved by the Leeds striker.
VERDICT: Right decision by VAR.
DERMOT SAYS: I think this is a really interesting incident because the referee doesn’t give anything. He goes across to the assistant, and he says he thinks Gabriel has kicked out violently, so it has to be a penalty because the ball was in play. So he’s given a penalty and a red card. You see quite clearly that Patrick Bamford has committed a foul and then the kick is petulant, it’s unsporting, but it’s not violent. So when he goes to the TV monitor VAR tells him to have another look and ultimately the right decision is made. There’s no doubt Gabriel has flicked out, I think it’s petulant, reckless at worst but it’s not violent for me. It would be very unfair for a centre-half to be serving a three-match ban for what wasn’t an act of violent conduct.
Man Utd 0-0 Newcastle
INCIDENT: Cristiano Ronaldo nipped in to take the ball off Nick Pope to fire the ball into an empty net having thought Fabian Schar had already taken the free-kick to his goalkeeper. The referee Craig Pawson said the free-kick had not yet been taken and the goal was disallowed.
VERDICT: Correct decision, the referee has blown for offside and the free-kick had not been taken.
DERMOT SAYS: The referee has given offside, that is why they are waiting. But Schar has rolled the ball back to Pope to take the free-kick from where he is and that is what the referee is saying to the Man Utd players. I think the fact the play was so delayed before Ronaldo nipped in to take the ball tells you everything. The referee’s arm is up all the way which is indicating that he is waiting for that free-kick to be taken. I think you would have more of an argument if that was given as a goal.
INCIDENT: Raphael Varane avoided giving away a penalty for a challenge on Callum Wilson.
VERDICT: It was a foul, but it is an on-field penalty.
DERMOT SAYS: I don’t think the referee thinks this is a foul and he thinks they come together. If he gives a foul, this won’t be overturned by the VAR. I think this is all about the referee on the day. If the referee gives a penalty the ref will stick with him. Some decisions fall into the ‘It must be an on-field decision’ category. I do think it’s a foul, but the problem is that it’s an on-field penalty. Don’t forget the tolerance for VAR isn’t the same tolerance level on the referee.
Danny Mills: I think the Callum Wilson one was the most blatant penalty I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand how you are watching that and don’t see that as a foul. If you’re looking back and saying that the tiny little tug on Fabinho by Haaland is a foul – he steps across him, doesn’t play the ball and is miles away from the ball. There is no other decision other than foul. VAR must have looked at that incident, so I would love to know why the VAR official looks at that and says that is not a foul.
DERMOT SAYS: I’m of the belief that the referee has said to him that he thinks Varane has come across and they’ve collided. So he’s fed that back to the VAR – he has a look and goes with that because for the VAR to intervene he has to be convinced that the referee has made a clear an obvious error.
Danny Mills: I don’t think you get more clear and obvious than that.
Sue Smith: I agree, I am 100 per cent with you. I thought it was a penalty, the way Varane lunges across I was so surprised that VAR didn’t tell the referee to have another look at that.
INCIDENT: Kieran Trippier avoids giving away a penalty for a challenge on Ronaldo in which he does not get the ball.
VERDICT: Not a penalty.
DERMOT SAYS: I didn’t think it was a penalty. Ronaldo comes across to Trippier and they collide there is no doubt about that, but he comes into Trippier as much as he comes into him. I can understand he is trying to protect the ball, but for me it’s not a penalty.
Sue Smith: I thought that was a penalty, you can see from Trippier’s reaction that he feels he may have done something there. So I thought they each should have had a penalty in this game.
Danny Mills: If you make a challenge in the box, don’t get the ball, make contact and stop Ronaldo doing what he wants to do again I don’t see why it’s not a penalty.
INCIDENT: Sean Longstaff avoids giving away a penalty for a challenge on Jadon Sancho despite not making contact with the ball.
VERDICT: It should have been a penalty.
DERMOT SAYS: I think this is a penalty, when you see this Longstaff takes his foot. I was surprised this wasn’t given. I can’t see how this wasn’t given. The referee has the perfect view and he said no.
Sue Smith: I think this was a penalty. Clearly doesn’t get anything of the ball.
Danny Mills: It’s a poor decision. It should be a penalty, I think with the on-field decision Sancho’s reaction doesn’t help him because he jumps too high and tries to make it too obvious. But that is why VAR is there, the reaction should be irrelevant. It should be a penalty.
Tottenham 2-0 Everton
INCIDENT: Harry Kane wins a penalty after being brought down by Jordan Pickford.
VERDICT: Hard not to give a penalty.
DERMOT SAYS: I can understand why a penalty is given. The goalkeeper loses the ball and is down in desperation and tries to get the ball and Kane goes over him. Many people have said Kane is instigating the contact, but Pickford has put himself in that position.
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