Jeremy Doku speaks out on Alexis Mac Allister challenge and ‘angry’ Liverpool reaction | Football

Jeremy Doku sparked controversy at Anfield (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester City’s Jeremy Doku admits that some referees would have given a penalty for his challenge on Liverpool’s Alexis Mac Allister, but he doesn’t believe it deserved a spot-kick.

The controversial moment came late in the 1-1 draw at Anfield earlier this month when a high boot from the Belgian caught the Reds midfielder in the chest.

Referee Michael Oliver gave nothing and VAR did not step in to overturn that decision, leaving Liverpool players, fans and staff enraged.

Doku understands why they were fuming and admits that it could easily have been given as a penalty on another day, although he does believe the right decision was made.

‘It was a risky challenge,’ said the winger ahead of Belgium’s meeting with England on Tuesday night. ‘I could have dealt with it differently. I still believe it wasn’t a penalty but I know some other referees would have given it. But it wasn’t a penalty so I was a happy.

‘Was I worried? For a moment when they were looking at the VAR and maybe looking for a penalty.

‘For me is wasn’t a penalty, but I understand why some people are angry and why the Liverpool fans believe it was a penalty.’

Mac Allister thought he had won a penalty after the challenge from Doku (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was clear on his thinking, saying: ‘It was 100 per cent a penalty. They will find an explanation. It was 100% a foul in all areas of the pitch and probably a yellow card.

‘All the people with iPads around me were: “Wow, clear”. Maybe they can hide behind the phrase it is not clear and obvious. It is of course a penalty but we didn’t get it and that is fine.’

However, Howard Webb, the PGMOL chief refereeing officer, told Match Officials: Mic’d Up: ‘This one has split opinion. I think it’s one where had the referee given it on the field, it would have been “check complete” by the VAR.

‘But having not given it, it is also “check complete”. You can hear Michael Oliver say that the ball is in between. The ball is too low to head. Doku lifts his foot to play the ball and he does make contact on the ball.

‘We know there is some contact on Mac Allister as well so he’s not really playing the ball either.

‘I think it would have been “check complete” either way as he doesn’t want to be re-refereeing the game in situations that are not really clear.

‘In this situation, the VAR stays out of it and I think that’s what we would expect.’

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