This big news surrounding Liverpool 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Sunday is the debate about whether or not Kane dived leading to Spurs first penalty. I was at the game and when it happened I immediately thought it was a penalty due to the angle I saw it from so when the referee awarded the penalty I had no complaints. However, when watching the replay I was unsure whether Kane left his foot there intentionally and this quote from Spurs manager Pochettino proves that maybe he did.
“Football is about trying to trick your opponent. When you do tactics, it is to try to trick the opponent. Twenty or thirty years ago, we all congratulated a player when he tricks the referee like this”.
So is this him admitting that Kane did in fact dive in Sundays game?. We know for a fact that Dele Alli did and the referee spotted this and made the correct decision by showing him a yellow card, his third for diving this season. He has also mentioned in the past that when he was a player in Argentina they practiced diving in training as it was ‘part of the game’. Has it now got to the point in the game where diving is considered ok by managers and players?
Both penalty decisions where controversial on Sunday with Erik Lamela going down in the box after the slightest of touches on him by Virgil Van Dijk which led to Tottenham’s equaliser in the 94th minute. John Moss was not the most popular man on Merseyside come Sunday night and neither was his assistant as they both took their time in deliberating both penalty decisions and whether they were correct or not. The transcript of their conversation was circling social media on Monday and you can see that neither of them knew if Dejan Lovren had touched the ball or not (he didn’t) so the ref decided to award a penalty on the hopes that he did touch it which ruled out Harry Kane being offside. After the game it was highlighted that because Lovren made the ‘attempt’ to play the ball that is the reason why the penalty was awarded, but is this the correct decision?
In my opinion it isn’t, if you re-watch the build-up to the goal you can see that Kane is offside when the ball is played through to him and before Lovren makes the attempt to clear it away, therefore the penalty shouldn’t have been awarded and Kane should have been ruled offside. Fortunately for us Karius had done his homework and made a great save to deny Tottenham taking the lead. What was looking to be a point for both teams, Mo Salah stepped up and produced his 27th goal of the season and what I would think is his best goal so far. The Liverpool attack was going nowhere and after Salah tried to cross the ball for Firmino it hit the body of a Spurs defender, with Liverpool players and fans calling for a penalty which was ignored by John Moss, Salah was the first to react to the loose ball and produced amazing skill to skip past the defenders and toe poke it beyond Lloris in to the back of the net.
This looked like the moment for Liverpool as it was into stoppage time and with only 3 minutes left to play you would have thought we had the points in the bag. Unfortunately not, up stepped John Moss and his trusty assistant to ruin Liverpool’s day once again by awarding a controversial penalty in the 93rd minute of the match. Lamela went down in the box after a ‘challenge’ from Van Dijk and at first it wasn’t given but then the trusty linesman waved his flag signalling a foul. The referee and the assistant again start to deliberate the penalty claim and took their time doing so, eventually coming to the conclusion that it was a foul and Harry Kane took the opportunity to put his earlier miss behind him and scored his 100th Premier League goal at the Kop end, of course.
I don’t know about anyone else but if this was Klopp coming out with quotes like this then as a fan I wouldn’t be too pleased about it. Looking at the decisions again and taking in to account the rules of the game and previous penalties that have gone for and against us this season, an example would be the Calvert Lewin decision when we played Everton last year as it is similar to the Lamela one for the fact that they were both the slightest touches in the area but where both given, you can’t help but think that game is going downhill. There are so many rules that it leaves no room for error in the match and personally I think it will only get worse. One thing I saw a lot of fans mention was that would VAR have made the difference to this game, in my opinion I think it should be included in the game now as although it takes up a lot of time and it is only another person’s opinion, it allows the referee to re watch the incident, make his own judgement on the situation and makes it fair for both teams.
As a fan, if i was told before the game that we would walk away with a point i would have been quite happy with that. Spurs dominated a large part of the game and have some great players in their squad but looking at the way the game ended and the decisions made during the match, you can’t help but feel cheated of three important points for the Reds.
Let us know your thoughts on the penalty decisions at the weekend and whether or not you think VAR is the way to go.
Article by Lauren Black
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