Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold gave away a penalty against Everton last weekend but after escaping with nothing more than a telling off, ex-referee Dermot Gallagher feels the English star was lucky not to have seen red.
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Liverpool hosted arch-rivals Everton in a fiercely contested match in Merseyside which ended 2-0 to Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
The game, which saw the Toffees end their 21-year-long Anfield drought, was marred in controversy after full-back Alexander-Arnold was deemed to have fouled Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The challenge, which happened in the blink of an eye, saw Alexander-Arnold desperately try to recover whilst seemingly sliding on the wet turf.
The English defender was unable to stop himself and consequently made contact with the Everton forward.
Despite a quick VAR check, referee Chris Kavanagh was adamant his initial thoughts were correct and opted to uphold his decision to award Everton with a penalty.
Although Kavanagh stuck to his guns and pointed to the spot, he opted against doubling Liverpool’s misery by sending Alexander-Arnold off.
Speaking to Sky Sports, ex-ref Gallagher feels Kavanagh’s reluctance to send Alexander-Arnold packing was a mistake.
“I thought it was a penalty,” Gallagher said. “I think Trent Alexander-Arnold impedes him; he hooks his leg up as well.
“Calvert-Lewin is past Alisson – Nat Phillips is a red herring because he’s behind Alexander-Arnold when the tackle is made.
“Once Chris Kavanagh gives the penalty, he has to send him off but because of the process of him going across [to the pitchside monitor] and VAR feeling there was a doubt about the penalty, I think it got lost in the process about the sanction to follow.
“Penalty and red card? Yes. They focused on the penalty, rather than: ‘Is it a penalty and should a sanction follow?’
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