Roy Keane has slammed the VAR for disallowing Liverpool’s goal during the first-half of their clash with Manchester United, in comments broadcast on Sky Sports (19/1; 17:23).
The Reds were 1-0 up at Anfield thanks to a goal from Virgil Van Dijk when Roberto Firmino then put the ball into the net for a second time.
It was a stunning finish from Firmino. And referee Craig Pawson had no problem with giving the goal. However, on review, the decision was overturned and the visitors were awarded a free-kick after a clash between Van Dijk and David De Gea.
The pair both jumped to try and win the ball. Van Dijk appeared to make little contact with the Spaniard. And he managed to keep his arms down as he challenges for the ball. He was also only looking at the ball as the cross comes in.
But De Gea spilled it, leading to Liverpool winning the ball back and Firmino scoring.
The Manchester United players were incredulous when Pawson did not blow for a foul. De Gea was booked for his protests.
But Keane insisted that De Gea and United were incredibly lucky to not go 2-0 down.
“Huge moment. Huge turning point really,” he told Sky Sports. “You think if Liverpool go 2-0 up it’s game over. Again, United sloppy. Good hassling by Liverpool and it’s a great finish.
“Why he’s disallowed this goal is beyond me. I can’t get my head round it. I understand if you look at the goalkeeper, it’s a foul, but he’s got his eye on the ball.
“The goalkeeper De Gea, he’s done this before. I think there’s a softness to him. Obviously, they’ve got to go to VAR for every goal incident. How they see that as a foul is beyond me. The game’s gone mad.”
Goalkeepers are given a lot of protection, so it is probably no surprise that the visitors expected the whistle to go. But it does appear that Van Dijk did little wrong.
Arguing that Pawson made a clear and obvious error meanwhile, seems an impossible task.
De Gea was not the only Manchester United player arguably bailed out by the decision. Victor Lindelof had more than enough time to clear the ball after the goalkeeper’s clash with Van Dijk.
But he then gave possession away after taking a poor touch inside the box. Perhaps the VAR should have used common sense and moved on from the incident involving De Gea because United then played themselves into trouble when they had an opportunity to clear their lines.