The ball may have struck Trent Alexander-Arnold’s arm during Liverpool’s clash with Manchester City at Anfield, but he avoided giving away a penalty as his arm was not in an unnatural position.
City were attacking the Liverpool goal early in the contest when the ball broke loose in the penalty area, bouncing up and quite clearly striking Alexander-Arnold’s arm.
Sergio Aguero called for a penalty but the referee, Michael Oliver, was not interested and the Reds went down the other end of the pitch, scoring just 22 seconds later through Fabinho.
The Manchester City players were still furious about the apparent handball, but the goal stood as VAR failed to overturn Oliver’s decision.
The Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) confirmed later in the half that Alexander-Arnold’s arm was not in an unnatural position and there was a lack of reaction time, so it was not adjudged to be a handball.
VAR said no penalty – do you agree?
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It was the start of a bad spell for the Premier League champions as Liverpool doubled their lead just 13 minutes into the contest through a Mohamed Salah header.
Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany thought the handball decision was wrong, though, and that is cost his former employers.
Before the ball hit Alexander-Arnold, it also hit City’s Bernardo Silva, but Kompany believes Silva was the one being struck in a natural position, while the Liverpool man was not.
‘One way or another, the action should have been stopped there and then,’ Kompany told Sky Sports. ‘You can argue about Bernardo’s handball, I don’t think he knows about it, but that [Alexander-Arnold’s] is a handball, that’s not a natural position.
‘Bernardo’s is in a natural position, Alexander-Arnold’s isn’t.’
Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness was less convinced, saying: ‘We’ve all seen them given and we’ve all seen them not given.’
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