During Liverpool’s Monday night match at Southampton, the Reds clearly felt that they had legitimate claims for two penalties.
Both incidents were adjudged to not be sufficient to warrant a spot-kick, though one in particular, a handball offence, appeared nailed on if we are to take the letter of the law into account and go by similar offences earlier this season.
It’s no wonder Jurgen Klopp was seething, but former PGMOL chief, Keith Hackett, attempted to explain the situation.
“I would not expect a penalty kick to be awarded when the ball struck the hand of the Southampton player,” he told CaughtOffside.
“So again, I support the referees decision. Yes, there is no doubt that at the beginning of the season, the guidance to referees on the handball law was misguided and we were seeing almost every time the ball struck the hand of a player, a penalty was awarded.
“It appears to me that PGMOL have relaxed their approach and this has resulted in a change to how they interpret the handball law. The change is for the better.”
That will be of little comfort to Klopp who saw his side woefully underperform for the third game in a row.
Indeed, they’ve tailed off to such an extent that if arch rivals, Man United, win their game in hand, the Red Devils will overtake Liverpool at the summit.
Win the game between the two sides in mid-January, and United could conceivably be looking at a six-point lead before the month is out.