Dermot Gallagher says one Liverpool player took a ‘massive risk’ during win over Tottenham

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Dermot Gallagher said that one Liverpool player took a ‘massive risk’ during the second half of the 4-2 win over Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday.

The visitors had clawed back half of a four-goal deficit by the time that Joe Gomez flicked the ball out for a corner but, in doing so, made contact with the head of Brennan Johnson inside the penalty area. The incident was checked by VAR but no foul was given against the 26-year-old.

The former Premier League referee gave his two cents on the incident on Sky SportsRef Watch on Monday morning, and he agreed with the on-field decision while acknowleding that the Reds defender’s gamble was ultimately justified.

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Gallagher said: “[It’s] difficult to give a penalty when a player clearly gets the ball first, but massive risk making a challenge like this. If he makes contact with the player before the ball, it’s certainly going to be a penalty, because of how high his boot’s going to be.

“Without doubt he does get the ball, so I think on that occasion, he will probably say it’s great defending. Massive risk, but a risk that was worth taking in the end, because it wasn’t a foul to give [away] a penalty.”

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We think this is a fair assessment from Gallagher – Gomez was playing the ball and duly got it, but he certainly left himself open to conceding a penalty when his foot was so high and (albeit accidentally) clipped Johnson’s head.

On another day, that decision could easily have gone against Liverpool, and had a spot kick been given and scored to make it 4-3, Anfield would’ve been an incredibly nervy place for the final few minutes of the match yesterday.

Thankfully, Paul Tierney – who’s been a lightning rod for controversy in previous clashes between these two teams – didn’t deem it worthy of an intervention, and it was the only semi-contentious talking point from a match where the players rather than the officials dominated the headlines.

For Gallagher as an impartial observer to say that it wasn’t a foul by Gomez was telling, even if we acknowledge that the 26-year-old indeed took a risk by raising his foot in such close proximity to Johnson.

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More Stories Brennan Johnson Dermot Gallagher Joe Gomez Liverpool Tottenham


  1. If a forward tries an overhead kick in the penalty area, it will be given as a foul if a defender is right behind him and gets kicked in the head on the follow-through. So Gomez’s challenge was great defending in one respect but a penalty by any reasonably consistent decision.

  2. Hang on, so having your boot high is a penalty if you don’t connect with the ball? So why wasn’t it a penalty against Doku on MacAllister. No contact on the ball (watch it. MacAllister deflects it onto Doku AFTER contact is made) and foot in the heavens. I’m sick of all sport at this stage. It’s all corrupt.

  3. TBH – Mr. Gallagher speaks out of his sphincter. You are just as inconsistent as the rest of your “Old Boys Club”. You did not give the penalty against Doku who placed his studs in MacAllister (who by the way got to the ball first BEFORE Doku), so this should not even be a discussion. LUCKY/RISKY INDEED!!!!??? Gakpo should have been given a penalty and for you to say that he was over-dramatic is also inconsistent. You ref’s are all the same. If he is not dramatic enough, he does not get a penalty. If he is overly dramatic – no penalty. When should any of this be a factor. Was he fouled? YES! Then it should be a penalty. The rules are not subjective. Rules are there to take away any subjectivity. Either he is fouled, or he isn’t, and VAR (Video ASSISTANT Referee) should assist and intervene. These IDIOT refs are ruining the game.

    1. Agree, well said. I didn’t see him touch the player from the replays I saw, when did he accidentally clip him after the ball. We can complain about our last few games cost us the league but it was poor officiating against, Man City, Arsenal, Spurs & ManU, cost us the league, they were clear cut penalties any day of the week. Not sour grapes but the truth.

  4. VAR is spoiling the flow of the game and results in too many inconsistencies. VAR is a flop.

  5. Gallagher,so you will come here and talk about everything could have led Iverpool losing the game had the rule book been adhered to properly. Effectively you are looking for anything that ought to have hurt Liverpool. You never ever talk about where Liverpool could have benefitted.
    Your analysis only helps place referees under pressure knowing that any mistakes will be analysed by armchair referees in the boardroom.
    Do I have to remind you of both the Tottenham game at the beginning of the season and the Doku chaos? This is just to name a few instances where we missed on the league yet you kept quiet then due to lack of conviction from you guys. Who knows,perhaps Klopp is leaving due to the suffering coaches go through due to referee incompetence. Even VAR has failed to help alleviate the obvious incompetence of the referees especially in England. Disappointing.

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