Graeme Souness told Sky Sports (via the Echo) that he believed the early VAR check of Fabinho’s challenge on Ivan Cavaleiro should have resulted in a penalty.
The referee, Andre Marriner, initially pointed for a Fulham corner, but VAR forced the official to review the incident on the monitor – the West Midlands man stuck to his guns, however, and kept to his original decision.
“No, I think it’s a penalty,” Souness insisted at half-time. “I think when we see the challenge coming in, he actually takes the Fulham player’s leg, so he can’t plant it on the ground and I think Liverpool got away with one.”
It’s an admittedly close-call upon first inspection, with the first angle seeming to show the Brazilian missing the ball before taking away the Fulham forward’s legs.
A separate angle does, however, reveal that the No.3 makes contact first with the ball before colliding with Cavaleiro.
We admire the fact that Souness has gone with honesty beyond bias here, but we have to disagree with the Liverpool legend’s analysis.
VAR was sadly once more found to be wanting beyond the early penalty call, with the technology choosing to overlook the shove on Salah in the build-up to the London side’s goal.
At the very least, it was nice to see a referee owning their decision, despite the influence of VAR.