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Furious Liverpool fans slam referee over ‘dreadful’ penalty decisions at Emirates

Furious Liverpool fans slam referee over ‘dreadful’ penalty decisions at Emirates

Arsenal v Liverpool on Sunday afternoon turned out to be a classic, with the hosts eventually prevailing 3-2 winners in a contest that ebbed and flowed throughout.

However, the result arguably swung on two controversial penalty decisions, both of which went against Liverpool. In the first half, with the Gunners 1-0 up thanks to an early Gabriel Martinelli strike, a penalty claim against the other Gabriel was dismissed by referee Michael Oliver.

In the incident, Jota’s cross attempt appeared to have been handled by Gabriel inside his own penalty area, with the Arsenal defender having his arm in a high – and thus unnatural – position.

However, after a VAR check, no penalty was awarded.

Liverpool would eventually equalise through Darwin Nunez, only to go a goal down right before the break after Bukayo Saka’s close-range tap-in.

The Reds would once again draw level in the second period, but parity didn’t last very long.

In the 75th minute, Thiago Alcantara was adjudged to have kicked Gabriel Jesus’ calf inside the Liverpool box as the Brazilian attempted to shoot.

On this occasion the spot-kick was awarded, much to the dismay of many Liverpool fans on Twitter.
The main contention for most fans was the fact that Gabriel’s handball wasn’t deemed an infringement in the first half, despite the Brazilian’s arm being above his head.

One enraged Liverpool fan wrote on Twitter: “I think I’m done with football! We have more technology in the game than we’ve ever had, yet the officials get it so wrong time after time! Blatant handball in the first half, nothing given. 50 50 ball in the second half, penalty to Arsenal. Dreadful refereeing!”

Another added: “Arsenal got the soft penalty and Liverpool were denied the obvious one.”

The decision to award Arsenal the penalty in the second half proved divisive, as many pundits and ex-players also thought it wasn’t a penalty. This included former Liverpool striker Michael Owen, who stated on Twitter: “I can’t have that that’s a penalty [Thiago’s foul on Jesus].”

In the end, Saka slotted home from the penalty spot, and Arsenal survived an excruciatingly long added-time period to seal a famous 3-2 win – and three vitally important points.

The victory returns Mikel Arteta’s side to the top of the Premier League table, as they now lead Manchester City by a single point.

By contrast, Liverpool now sit in 10th, a staggering 14 points behind the early season pacesetters.

It doesn’t get any easier for Jurgen Klopp’s side either, as they face Manchester City next weekend. Remarkably, this is Liverpool’s worst start to a Premier League campaign in a decade.


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