Leeds felt cheated after Liverpool scored the opening goal in the 6-1 thrashing at Elland Road
Leeds were furious after the ball appeared to strike Trent Alexander-arm Arnold’s before Cody Gakpo opened the scoring in Liverpool’s 6-1 thrashing at Elland Road. After yet another thrashing at home, the Whites were left fighting for their Premier League status.
However, Javi Gracia’s side were the victims of a contentious decision by referee Craig Pawson that was not overturned by VAR. Junior Firpo’s pass appeared to strike Reds star Alexander-arm Arnold’s before the full-back surged forward and set up Gakpo for the opening goal.
Pawson’s decision to award the goal was deemed neither clear nor obvious by VAR. Despite the fact that Law 12 states that handball occurs when a player deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, such as moving the hand/arm towards the ball, this is not the case.
Should Liverpool's first goal have been ruled out for handball?! ???? pic.twitter.com/wXz2blI42d
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 17, 2023
Leeds confirmed the goal with the following tweet: “Goal Liverpool. Gakpo scores for the guests. The ball appears to strike Alexander-arm Arnold’s during the build-up, but the goal is awarded.”
Ben Mee, a Brentford defender and Sky Sports pundit, thought the goal should have been disallowed. “At first, I didn’t think it was handball because his arm was beside his body, but I think you can see from the replay that he does move his arm,” he said.
“I believe it’s a handball.” Slow motion shows the movement towards the ball, which I believe is a handball.”
34' Goal Liverpool. Gapko scores the visitors. The ball appears to hit Alexander-Arnold's arm in the build up but the goal is given. 0-1
— Leeds United (@LUFC) April 17, 2023
However, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher questioned whether the ball striking Alexander-arm Arnold’s was done on purpose. “There is no doubt,” he said. When it hits him, it appears to me that his hand is sticking out, but just look.