Before Southampton took the lead against Liverpool, Diogo Jota appeared to be fouled and one former referee has disagreed with Martin Atkinson’s on-field decision.
Speaking with CaughtOffside, former ref Mark Halsey said: “That challenge from Lyanco on Diogo Jota, I have to say that when I watched it in real time I thought it was a clear foul. Lyanco’s come through from behind and clearly caught him.
“Martin Atkinson had a good viewing position, but the reason why I think he’s not given the free-kick is because of the direction of the ball. It maybe looked like Lyanco played the ball, but he didn’t, and I think you can argue it’s a clear foul.
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“Should VAR get involved? What they have to decide is, is that incident in the same phase as the attack that led to Nathan Redmond’s goal? I think you can argue it’s the same phase of play, but at the same time there’s maybe 40 seconds between the foul and the goal, so maybe VAR felt that was enough time for Liverpool to get their players back behind the ball and make a challenge.
“Did that foul occur in the same attacking phase as Redmond’s goal? A lot of people will feel VAR should’ve got involved, but the protocol says it has to be the same attacking phase. Does it matter how many seconds it takes? It seemed like a clear free-kick, but Martin obviously didn’t see it that way.”
There’s more questions than answers in his response to Nathan Redmond’s goal but it looks as though there is some certainty in our No.20 being fouled.
VAR is there to help the officials but when a foul happens in front of a referee, they shouldn’t need assistance in order to blow their whistle.
Different phase of play or not, this should have just been a free-kick to the Reds and that would have been the end of the debate.
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Happens to saints all the time… but then we concede more …
Will be glad that Atkinson will retire. Just hope Cootes does not take his place.