Howard Webb disagrees with Jurgen Klopp over controversial Liverpool penalty claim vs Man City

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The Liverpool manager was incensed after being denied the chance to beat Manchester City at Anfield.

Former Premier League referee Howard Webb believes Liverpool were rightly denied a penalty by the VAR assistant during the 1-1 draw against Manchester City earlier this month.

Liverpool were outraged not to be given a late spot-kick in the top-of-the-table clash at Anfield just over a week ago after Jeremy Doku appeared to catch Alexis Mac Allister with a high boot in the chest. On-field referee Michael Oliver waved away claims and was adjudged to have been correct by VAR assistant Stuart Attwell.

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Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was incensed by the decision not to give a penalty, taking particular aim at VAR by insisting it was set up to overturn this exact kind of incident. But Webb insists those at Stockley Park went about their role correctly.

"It's split a lot of opinion, hasn't it?" Webb told Match Officials Mic’d Up. "It's one of those, for sure - if the referee gives it on the field, it would have been a 'check complete' by the VAR. Equally, having not given it, it's also 'check complete'. You hear Michael Oliver say the ball's in between two players going together.

"The ball is too low to head. Doku lifts his foot to play the ball, and he does make contact on the ball. And yes, we know there's some contact on Mac Allister as well. Mac Allister comes into him. Mac Allister is not really playing the ball either. So, I understand why it's split opinion. The VAR stays out of it. I think that is what we would expect. 

“The VAR looks at it and doesn't see a clear-and-obvious situation. You see something that's pretty subjective and therefore stays out of it, and the feedback we've had from people within the game is that this is a pretty subjective situation. It's split opinion. So on that basis, the VAR, working to that high threshold kind of followed the right course in not getting involved."

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The result allowed Arsenal to maintain their place at the top of the Premier League going into the March international break, with 10 games remaining for all three title challengers. City host Mikel Arteta's side at the Etihad next Sunday in another huge clash.

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