Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has argued that two of Liverpool’s goals against Crystal Palace should not have stood.
Jurgen Klopp’s side recorded a 3-1 win at Selhurst Park to increase pressure on Manchester City, after their earlier dropped points against Southampton.
The Reds took a comfortable 2-0 lead into half-time and looked to be on course for a routine win but had to withstand Palace fightback after the break, before the game was settled on a contentious penalty decision.
However, though the decision to award a spot-kick for a foul on Diogo Jota stole the headlines, Clattenburg has argued that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal also should not have counted.
“Crystal Palace have every right to be peeved that Liverpool’s second goal was allowed to stand,” Clattenburg said, when discussing Oxlade-Chamberlain’s finish.
“When Andy Robertson played the ball into the box, Roberto Firmino was clearly in an offside position. Firmino jumped and made a clear attempt to meet the cross.
“If he hadn’t been there, Palace left back Tyrick Mitchell would have headed clear, so the Liverpool striker was interfering with play.
“Consequently the ball reached Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored. VAR should have intervened.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled the Reds’ advantage after Virgil van Dijk had opened the scoring with a bullet header.
Alisson was called upon several times in the second-half to bail Liverpool out of trouble, before a collision between Jota and Palace ‘keeper Vicene Guaita ultimately settled the match, with Fabinho scoring from 12 yards.
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Referee Kevin Friend initially awarded a goal-kick, deeming that no foul had been committed, before being called over to re-watch the incident on the pitchside monitor by VAR Craig Pawson.
And Clattenburg has said Friend needed to “back himself” and stick with his original call, instead of being swayed by the other officials.
“Kevin Friend should have stood by his decision of ‘no penalty’,” Clattenburg wrote in his Daily Mail column .
“Once Diogo Jota had pushed the ball past Vicente Guaita, he moved towards the keeper and caused a collision.
“I do not understand why VAR Craig Pawson got involved. There was no clear and obvious error from Friend. The referee saw the incident and did not blow for a foul.
“After being sent to his pitch-side monitor, it was a shame Friend did not back himself and decide his original call was correct.”