Our post-match reactions could have been very different had Martin Atkinson’s dodgy handball call ruled out a potentially winning goal for Liverpool and the Reds went on to draw or lose the tie.
VAR had a mixed night, helping out Jurgen Klopp’s men in the first-half by ruling out an early Son Heung-Min goal but then penalising Bobby Firmino following contact between the ball and his lower arm in the build-up to Mo Salah’s goal.
The ball did admittedly strike the Brazilian’s arm, but it was clear that the act was unintentional and the result of Eric Dier’s handsy challenge.
As can be clearly observed from the Premier League’s handball rule above, our No.9’s contact with the ball shouldn’t have been considered an offence, if it was deemed accidental.
Given Dier’s manhandling, and the build-up play involved between the moment and Salah’s goal, it should have been abundantly clear to Atkinson that no offence had been committed.
Of course, we are dealing with Premier League referees, who appear to be struggling still to get to grips with the rules.
Fortunately, on this occasion, it didn’t matter in the long-run, as Liverpool put in an outstanding shift to seal the 3-1 win without our Egyptian’s added goal.