Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has expressed his annoyance with the handball law after conceding a penalty in the champions’ 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Sunday.
The England international was adjudged to have handled a Kevin De Bruyne cross shortly before half-time at the Etihad Stadium. The incident saw referee Craig Pawson check the pitchside monitor, before awarding the spot-kick.
Gomez appeared to be trying to get his arm out of the way when the ball struck him. However, the VAR process did not rule in his favour.
Fortunately for him it was not costly as De Bruyne put the resulting spot-kick wide.
Gomez told Sky Sports: “I think then it’s frustrating when the referee goes to look in slow motion when something has happened in real time and De Bruyne hit the ball as hard as he has.
“It just hit my hand. I don’t think there was much I could do about it. He’s hit the ball that hard and that is that.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp did not comment on the specific incident. He did, however, admit his frustration with the VAR system.
Klopp said: “I cannot speak about it because I didn’t see it yet. I don’t think it’s now too important but everybody is talking about it.
“It looked and it sounds to me that it’s obviously not 100 per cent clear but I saw only Joe’s back in that moment when the ball hit him.”
Klopp also used Patrick Bamford’s disallowed goal for Leeds at Palace on Saturday as an example of how the current rules are wrong.
“But, yes, handball, offside, armpit – all these kind of things. I don’t know why we constantly talk about it and not the people who can really make a difference talk about it much more.
“They might do it and are the only people in the world who think it’s exactly right like it is, and only us are the ones who think it’s not right like it is.
“I saw Saturday the (Patrick) Bamford armpit and it reminded me a lot of the Bobby Firmino armpit at Aston Villa (last season). I can’t wait for the first time a player scores a goal with the armpit.”
Klopp praised the quality of Liverpool and City. The visitors had taken an early lead with a Mohamed Salah penalty but Gabriel Jesus levelled with a superb turn and finish.
Both sides had chances to win but De Bruyne spurned the best of them from the spot shortly before half-time.
Klopp said: “Usually when we play City we sit here in the press conference and I have to say, ‘Yes, here we were slightly lucky, here Ali had to make a world-class save.’
“They usually have more clear-cut chances, today they hadn’t and that’s a compliment to my boys.
“I loved the energy level of both teams. It was a proper, proper fight on the highest level. That means you deny the opponent, with the quality we have and the quality they have.
“I’m really happy with the result and the performance.”
Liverpool sweat on Alexander-Arnold injury
Liverpool lost Trent Alexander-Arnold to a calf injury in the second half and the right-back will now miss England’s upcoming internationals.
The right-back went off just after the hour-mark against City, with James Milner replacing him.
Alexander-Arnold went down off the ball, and was not able to continue. His absence could be a big blow to England and Liverpool.
The full extent of the injury is not yet known, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed after the game that he will definitely not be available for England’s upcoming games.
“He will be out of England. Scan tomorrow and then we will see,” Klopp said at his post-match press conference.
It appears the problem was with Alexander-Arnold’s calf muscle.
The 22-year-old played in every Premier League game for Liverpool last season, contributing four goals and 13 assists. Liverpool will now be waiting to see how much action he misses after the international break.
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