Man City should have had penalty vs Liverpool, says former Premier League ref

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes that Manchester City should have got a penalty against Liverpool when the ball hit Trent Alexander-Arnold’s arm in the box.

The Reds went on to win the match 3-1, but the score was 0-0 at the time when the ball bounced up in the penalty area and clearly caught the full-back on the arm.

Referee Michael Oliver did not give a penalty and Liverpool went down the field to open the scoring through Fabinho just 22 seconds later.

VAR did not overturn the decision and it was conveyed that Alexander-Arnold’s arm was not in an unnatural position, therefore it was not handball.

However, Halsey disagrees with this decision, going as far as saying that the England international deliberately stopped the ball with his hand.

‘Manchester City should have had a first-half penalty when Trent Alexander-Arnold handled inside the box,’ Halsey wrote for the Sun.

‘I felt the right-back had his right arm in an unnatural position, made himself bigger and deliberately moved it out to stop the ball going to Raheem Sterling.

‘Therefore I disagree with the Premier League statement which claimed it did not meet the considerations for a deliberate handball.’

There was some confusion over the decision as the ball also struck Man City player Bernardo Silva’s hand before it hit Alexander-Arnold’s.

However, this was not brought up in the explanation from the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMOL) so it has been assumed that it played no part in their decision.

‘In the statement, there was no mention of Bernardo Silva’s accidental handball in the build-up, so presumably the PGMOL were happy with the City winger’s actions,’ continued Halsey.

‘Referee Michael Oliver may have been blocked by Sergio Aguero and you cannot guess so it went to VAR.’

PGMOL said: ‘The VAR checked the penalty appeal for handball against Trent Alexander-Arnold and confirmed the on-field decision that it did not meet the considerations for a deliberate handball.’

Alexander-Arnold admitted that he was worried when the ball hit his arm, but says City paid the price for switching off when they didn’t get the decision.

‘Obivously [I was worried], there’s VAR, it has hit me arm, but I think it’s hit Bernardo Silva’s first,’ said the full-back. ‘It’s one of them where you have to carry on playing and we went down the other end and punished them.

‘They were complaining about the handball, but we’ve gone down the other end, Fabinho’s hit a wonderful striker and we’re 1-0 up.’

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