Dermot Gallagher explained why VAR did not request a replay of the Arsenal penalty against Liverpool. It turned out to be the winning goal
On Sunday, Arsenal defeated Liverpool 3-2 at the Emirates. However, it took a dubious penalty, as Thiago was found to have fouled Gabriel Jesus.
According to Ian Wright, it was a “soft” one. Thiago barely made contact with the Brazilian, clipping his ankle as they attempted to meet the ball in the air. The Liverpool player was a fraction of a second late, but contact was minimal.
However, referee Michael Oliver never revisited the decision. VAR chose not to send him to the monitor, implying that the original call would always stand. Many were perplexed by the decision, which former referee Dermot Gallagher attempted to explain after the game.
“When Michael makes a decision, VAR and the referee will speak quickly,” he told Premier League Productions.
“And Michael will have told him, ‘I’m convinced he doesn’t have the ball, he’s caught him across the bottom of the ankle.'” That, in his opinion, is a penalty.
“As you can see, he doesn’t get the ball and catches him on the ankle.” So there’s nowhere for him to go.”
VAR in the Arsenal-Liverpool penalty shootout
Gallagher’s point of view is understandable. Oliver tells it like he saw it, and VAR confirms it, so why do they send him to the monitor? There must have been something he overlooked.
The issue was that Oliver appeared to have far more contact than there actually was. Gallagher admitted as much when asked if he would have imposed the penalty.
“It’s difficult being a referee,” he said after a brief pause.
That’s a tough one to swallow. This should not have been a penalty, and there should be a precedent in situations like this to send the referee to the monitor.