Man City's Kyle Walker praises Michael Oliver's 'character' following Liverpool penalty controversy

Kyle WalkerKyle Walker
Kyle Walker | Sky Sports
Liverpool felt aggrieved not to have been awarded a late penalty against Manchester City on Sunday.

Kyle Walker has praised referee Michael Oliver for not 'crumbling' under pressure amid huge Liverpool penalty claims during Sunday's 1-1 draw.

Manchester City and Liverpool shared the spoils in what was a thrilling clash between two title challengers at Anfield. John Stones opened the scoring for City with a brilliantly worked set-piece before Alexis Mac Allister levelled from the spot, following Ederson's foul on Darwin Nunez.

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Liverpool piled on the pressure after equalising and felt aggrieved not to have been awarded another penalty when Jeremy Doku caught Mac Allister in the chest when attempting to clear a high ball. Oliver waved away claims and was adjudged to have made the right decision by VAR assistant Stuart Attwell.

“My view is the referee and VAR made a decision on what it is,” Walker told Sky Sports. “I feel the ref refereed it really really well. Once you have the Anfield crowd behind you, he could have crumbled but that shows his experience, that shows his character and it's why he's regarded as one of the best referees in the country at the moment.

“It's not for me to say whether I think it's a pen. If I say it's not a pen there'll be headlines and if I say it is a pen there'll be headlines. I think the VAR checked it, the ref has done it [made the decision] and that's all I’ll say on it.”

The decision not to award Liverpool a penalty has split opinion, but former referee Mark Clattenburg insisted it should have been a spot-kick while Mike Dean labelled Doku 'very lucky' in the immediate aftermath. City were made to ride out waves of pressure from the home side during what was another tough trip to Anfield.

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A point-a-piece leaves Arsenal on top of the Premier League going into the March international break after they beat Brentford 2-1 thanks to a late Kai Havertz goal. There is now just one point separating all three title challengers going into the final 10 matches.

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