Mark Halsey has drawn attention to the inconsistent application of VAR in the Premier League following a contentious officiating call that kept Aaron Cresswell on the pitch in the Liverpool defeat.
The Merseyside-born defender escaped any punishment for a reckless challenge that saw the Hammers star’s boot collide into Jordan Henderson’s knee.
“Aaron Cresswell was lucky to stay on the pitch,” the 60-year-old told Caught Offside.
“Yet again we have seen inconsistency from VAR. This one was similar to Mason Holgate’s which he saw red for in Everton’s draw with Spurs, as it endangered the player’s safety.
“Cresswell’s foot caught the top of the ball and his follow-through crashed in Jordan Henderson’s knee.
“Amazingly, referee Craig Pawson did not even award a free-kick.”
The Reds went on to lose the tie 3-2, allowing David Moyes’ men to leapfrog them in the league table and safeguard rivals Chelsea’s three-point cushion at the summit of the English top-flight.
Though we can certainly understand Jurgen Klopp’s distaste for some of the officiating calls in the capital, this was a Liverpool performance far from deserving of all three points.
Of course, one must reasonably wonder how the affair might have panned out had Craig Pawson handed Cresswell his marching orders – a decision that would have potentially invited less controversy than an outright refusal to punish the left-back.
With a run of three games at home following the international break, however, we’re very much primed to put the result behind us and lay the foundations for another long unbeaten run in the league.