In the eyes of VAR, Joe Gomez illegally handled the ball in the penalty area at the Etihad over the weekend and Manchester City were awarded a spot-kick.
It was a controversial call – and the centre-half had his own say after the game, saying his arm was in a natural running position when Kevin De Bruyne fired in the cross.
Gomez continued, saying it’s difficult when the referees are shown a slowed-down video of an incident that happened in a very short period of time.
“I’m not disputing the ball hit my hand but I haven’t made an attempt to handball it,” he’s quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo. “I think then it’s frustrating when the referee goes to look in slow motion when something has happened in real-time and De Bruyne hit the ball as hard as he has.
“In that moment he makes the decision and that’s that. I’ve got to accept the decision but I think there’s enough conversation around that discussion at the minute.
“For me, 100% (hand in a natural running position). I haven’t watched it back but I didn’t think I made an attempt to handle the ball, it just hit my hand. I don’t think there was much I can do about it. He’s hit the ball that hard and that is that.
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“It’s frustrating but it is what it is at the minute. There are moments in the game where the ball is in wide areas ‘should I put my hand behind my back’ but it’s not a natural way to defend.
“It’s frustrating and I know they’ve made an adaptation to the rule but at some point you have to look at the game in real-time. Anyone in slow motion can say ‘yeah, it’s hit his hands’ but judge a scenario for what it is and that’s not being done at the minute.
“When a team has a counter-attack and a player is trying to get back to their goal they won’t run with their hands behind their back. That’s for me what the main thing is. I won’t dispute it hit my hand but you have to look at the scenario, use common sense and think ‘what could he have done there’.”
Honestly, Gomez could not have put it any better. There has been so many penalties given this season which simply wouldn’t have in previous years.
The match officials reviewing the footage need to, as the centre-half said, remember they’re watching a dramatically slowed down version of events.
A video shared by Liverpool shows Gomez desperately trying to move his arm out of the way – into an unnatural position – in an attempt to stop the ball striking his arm.
It’s frustrating for us fans – but imagine trying to defend with the current state of VAR in the Premier League, you’d be terrified to do anything!