Liverpool told VAR penalty decision was wrong as Premier League refs 'let down' again


Mark Clattenburg has argued that VAR is letting down Premier League referees after Liverpool were denied a late penalty against Manchester City over the weekend. The Reds thought they should have been awarded a spot-kick when Jeremy Doku's high foot caught Alexis Mac Allister inside the area but referee Michael Oliver waved away the appeals.

Stuart Attwell, who was on VAR duty, failed to overturn the decision for a clear and obvious error which saw Liverpool forced to settle for a point against their Premier League title rivals. Clattenburg believes that a penalty should have been awarded, slamming VAR and the officials at Stockley Park for not spotting the mistake.

Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Clattenburg said: "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.

"Regardless of the magnitude of the match and the fact it happened in the 98th minute, this was an incident worthy of a penalty. 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. You only needed to watch Match of the Day 2 to see how other matches were let down by decisions.

"Everybody could see this was a penalty for Liverpool. Except VAR, that is, and it is that official's opinion who matters most in these major moments of matches."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was left furious by the controversial decision not to award the Reds a penalty, with the 56-year-old questioning what Attwell had 'for lunch' in a fiery post-match interview.

He said: "Why would the guy in the VAR room think that's not clear and obvious? What did he have for lunch? It was 100 per cent a penalty. They [officials] will find an explanation. It was 100 percent foul in all areas of the pitch and probably a yellow card.

"Somebody will tell me how it was not a penalty, or Howard [Webb, head of PGMOL] will call me tomorrow and say he is sorry. These are the two possible outcomes and both things will not change the result. All the people with iPads around me were: 'Wow, clear'. Maybe they can hide behind the phrase it is not clear and obvious."

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