Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Why VAR did not request Michael Oliver to look at Arsenal penalty decision vs Liverpool

Why VAR did not request Michael Oliver to look at Arsenal penalty decision vs Liverpool

Former Premier League referee Dermott Gallagher has revealed that Michael Oliver’s penalty decision in Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Liverpool was not reviewed by VAR because his version of the foul did not differ from the television replays.

Mikel Arteta’s side defeated Jurgen Klopp’s men in a thrilling match at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, thanks to Bukayo Saka’s second-half penalty.

However, Liverpool, who had their own penalty claim for Gabriel’s handball rejected in the first half, were displeased with the decision to award Arsenal a penalty for Thiago’s foul on Gabriel Jesus.

The Liverpool midfielder made only light contact with Jesus’ ankle, but it was enough to knock the Arsenal forward to the ground and earn Olivier a penalty.

Despite widespread belief that the call was soft, VAR did not request that Olivier review his decision on the pitch-side monitor.

When asked if he was surprised that VAR did not ask Oliver to check the penalty, Gallagher replied, “No, I’m not.”

“Because I think what would’ve happened when Michael made his decision, the VAR and referee would speak quickly and Michael would’ve said he’s convinced he hasn’t got the ball and caught him across the bottom of the ankle, and in his view it’s a penalty.

“VAR looks, you can see he doesn’t get the ball, he does catch him across the ankle, so there’s nothing to send him across to say it’s a clear and obvious error for me. The pictures do reinforce what he would say.”

Asked if he deemed lighter touches are now being deemed as fouls, Gallagher replied: “I don’t think just because you’ve touched someone it’s going to be a foul.

“If you watched this game, it was a very physical game, it was a really entertaining game, there was a lot of physical contact, there was a lot of good, hard tackle, so the referee has played his part in that.

“On this occasion, he’s [Oliver] seen that, he’s felt Jesus has been caught by Thiago, he gave a penalty, I think VAR looks at it and a combination of the two, he’s not going to change his mind.

“It’s difficult, I think because it was such a good game, such a physical game, a decision like that stands out.

“He’s hamstrung in many ways with VAR because the pictures do reinforce what Michael Oliver would’ve told him, therefore he can’t send him to the screen, if you can’t send him to the screen the decision will not be overturned.”

Why VAR did not request Michael Oliver to look at Arsenal penalty decision vs Liverpool

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