Howard Webb backs decision not to award Liverpool penalty vs Man City | Football

Howard Webb has had his say on whether Jeremy Doku fouled Alexis Mac Allister (Photo: PLP)

PGMOL chief Howard Webb says the correct decision was made not to award Liverpool a last-minute penalty in their huge clash against Manchester City.

There were controversial scenes at the end of the 1-1 draw at Anfield two weeks ago, when Jeremy Doku appeared to catch Alexis Mac Allister in the chest with a raised boot in the penalty box.

Referee Michael Oliver waved play on and after a VAR check the on-field decision stood – much to the frustration of Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.

Much has been made of the incident, not least because it occurred in the 98th minute of a match between two Premier League title-rivals, who, alongside Arsenal are separated by just one point.

Speaking in the latest episode of Mic’d Up, Webb said he understood why the incident was so controversial but believes the referee and VAR acted correctly.

‘It’s split a lot of opinion, hasn’t it? And I think it’s one of those for sure if the referee gives it on the field, it would have been a “Check complete” by the VAR,’ Webb said.

‘And equally, having not given it, it’s also “Check complete”. You hear Michael Oliver say the ball’s in between two players going together. The ball is too low to head. Doku lifts his foot to play the ball, and he does make contact on the ball.

Should Liverpool have been awarded a last-minute penalty (Photo: Getty)

‘And yes, we know there’s some contact on Mac Allister as well. Mac Allister comes into him. Mac Allister is not really playing the ball either. So, I understand why it’s split opinion.

‘I think it would have been “checked complete” either way. Not wanting to to re-referee the game in situations that are not really clear, which is what we think the VAR is for in this situation.

‘The VAR stays out of it. I think that is what we would we would expect.

‘It’s a 1-1 all game. You just want certainty really. You want to to know with clarity, with certainty, that you’re making the right decision.

‘Clearly, Michael didn’t have it in this situation. And then the VAR looks at it and doesn’t see a clear-and-obvious situation.

‘You see something that’s pretty subjective and therefore stays out of it, and the feedback we’ve had from people within the game is that this is a pretty subjective situation. It’s split opinion.’

This will be of little comfort to Klopp who was adamant Liverpool should have had a spot-kick from which they could have won the game.

‘Isn’t VAR there for just making the right decision and not thinking about how high the bar is you have to overturn to find the right decision?’ he said post-match.

‘In all the positions on the pitch, is 100 per cent a foul and it’s a yellow card. He hit the ball, yes, but he can only hit the ball because his foot is right there. If the ball is not there, he kills him.

‘It’s a penalty for all football people on the planet. It’s a penalty. If you think it’s not one then maybe you’re not a football fan.’

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