Some Liverpool fans are convinced that they should’ve been awarded a game-changing penalty in tonight’s Premier League tie against Newcastle, which ended as a goalless draw.
In the 80th minute of the encounter, a dangerous cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold forced a parry from Karl Darlow, with the Newcastle keeper’s efforts spilling right into the path of Sadio Mane.
Just as it seemed like Mane would surely poke the ball into the net, the ball struck the superstar’s knee and bundled up, the forward attempted to get a second chance but was left stuck in traffic.
Before Fabian Schar’s heroics that cleared the ball off the goal-line, the footage shows that Darlow – whether intentionally or not – had a hold of Mane’s knee – thus slowing him from thrusting forward.
VAR seemingly didn’t even review the incident, though Liverpool may only have themselves to blame here unfortunately as Mane never went to ground and no Reds players appealed for a penalty.
Fabian Schar, that is superb!
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 30, 2020
Pictures from Prime Video Sport and NBC Sports Soccer.
Here’s how some Liverpool fans reacted to the incident:
Mane should have went down when the goalie had his leg by the way. Might have got a penalty.
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) December 30, 2020
VAR should stop players having to go to ground.
— chris gornall (@chris_of_yick) December 30, 2020
100%.we need to be more streetwise
— LFCZEN75* (@lfczen75) December 30, 2020
You need to appeal. Our players never appeal for anything. Actually once I saw Salah appeal just once and nobody backed him up. The greatest sides ever used to be a constant presence in the refs ear. I remember Poyul sprinting to the ref to get decisions
— Shakir Shomick (@ShakirSH35dv5e7) December 30, 2020
Agree with this, clearly wrapped his leg didn’t he
— Ste Morris (@SteMorris5) December 30, 2020
Darlow held Mane’s leg and stopped him from reaching the ball: should be a penalty
VAR is asleep ?
— drragheb (@drragheb2) December 30, 2020
I would like a VAR review on that clearance. Because Darlow is CLEARLY holding onto Mané’s leg to prevent him getting the ball. How is that not a penalty?
— Stephen Drennan (@babuyagu) December 30, 2020
If Mane goes down after that grab from Darlow it’s a pen
— Joshuã (@jtok93) December 30, 2020
Considering the reduced physicality in the game today and the often minimal contact that can win a penalty in the Premier League these days, Liverpool would’ve had a solid shout if this was reviewed.
In a harsh by-product of Mane’s nature, it seems as though the Senegalese star’s natural instinct and drive to try and knock the ball in actually stopped him from possibly going down in the area.
He can’t really be faulted for that all, as there was a gaping goal ahead and no player would turn down a chance like that.