Anthony Taylor had initially called for a penalty to Liverpool following Eric Bailly’s rough challenge on Nathaniel Phillips in the 18-yard-box, though changed his mind after being invited to reexamine the incident with a VAR review.
The Ivorian had, admittedly, caught the ball first before proceeding to carve through into the Reds’ centre-half.
It’s one of those ones where you’d be frustrated to see it given against you and just as frustrated to not get anything for it.
If we’re going on a pure precedent basis, however, you might reasonably argue that Liam Cooper’s similar challenge in Leeds United’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City suggests that the Red Devils’ defender should have been met with a red card.
He gets the ball
Doesnt mean to make contact
So why is Cooper getting sent off for the exact same thing then pic.twitter.com/Ti4XRjYFWA
— Alexander Toon (@AlexanderToon94) May 13, 2021
It’s the inconsistency of decision-making from Premier League referees that rankles more than anything else, with the slowing down of contentious moments serving to make some incidents worse than they actually are or soften challenges that looked meaty in real-time.
In the end, thankfully, it didn’t matter too much, as Diogo Jota’s first-half equaliser precipitated a critical 4-2 victory over our rivals at Old Trafford.
You can catch the clip below, courtesy of Sky Sports:
NO PENALTY ❌
After a VAR review, Eric Bailly is adjudged to have played the ball…
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 13, 2021