Former Premier League referee Peter Walton says Liverpool’s opening goal in their 3-1 victory over Manchester City should not have stood, because a penalty should have been awarded against Trent Alexander-Arnold.
He said to the Times: “Liverpool’s first goal should not have stood. Manchester City should have been given a penalty for a handball by Trent Alexander-Arnold. Alexander-Arnold made his body unnaturally bigger and had ample opportunity to withdraw his arm. A penalty should therefore have been awarded.
“Bernardo Silva appeared to handle the ball [but that] is not relevant. Both handballs have to be treated as separate incidents. An attacker should be penalised if they create a goalscoring opportunity after handling the ball but that does not apply in this case as the ball strikes the defender.
“VAR can only review penalties, offsides, red cards and cases of mistaken identity. Bernardo Silva’s handball is a free-kick offence and Paul Tierney, the VAR, could not review it. He could look only at the Alexander-Arnold handball.”
TBR’s View – Handball law doesn’t make sense in this instance
It was handball by Alexander-Arnold – the ball comes far enough for him to try and get his hand out of the way and he doesn’t – but Silva’s handball should also be relevant here.
It’s also an oddity that VAR could review the Alexander-Arnold incident but not Silva’s directly before and reversing a Liverpool goal to award a Manchester City penalty under those circumstances would have caused Anfield uproar.
Liverpool fans shouldn’t care a jot; they were great value for their victory and have the ideal platform to build on after the final international break of 2019.