Fabinho tackle on Ivan Cavaleiro not a penalty in Liverpool draw, Dermot Gallagher tells the latest Ref Watch

In the latest Ref Watch, Dermot Gallagher casts his eye over a VAR-filled draw between Fulham and Liverpool and says Fabinho’s tackle was not a penalty.

The former Premier League referee also casts his eye over two other incidents from Craven Cottage as Liverpool came from behind to draw against Scott Parker’s side.

Read on for Gallagher’s assessment of the major incidents…

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Fulham 1-1 Liverpool

INCIDENT: Early in the game, there was a lengthy VAR check after Ivan Cavaleiro was fouled by Fabinho. There were questions over whether the Liverpool midfielder got something on the ball before the man. Referee Andre Marriner initially waved away the claims and after checking the pitchside monitor, stuck with his original decision.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision.


DERMOT SAYS: “My gut reaction when I first saw it, I thought it was a penalty, but the more I’ve seen it, I don’t think it is. I’m very pleased that Andre Marriner stuck to his original decision. He has gone on where the ball is moving and what he thinks, Andre thinks it’s a corner and Fabinho has played it.

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“There’s so much doubt when you look at it over and over again, you look at it from different angles and it’s definitely not clear and obvious. I think Andre was very strong and very correct to restart with a corner.

“If you look at it, the pitch is very wet and I think he’s slipping… It all depends which angle you look at it but I think it’s a good tackle. The referee gave a corner and you can poll no end of people and you will not get an answer that will please everybody.”

INCIDENT: Soon after, Bobby Decordova-Reid scored the opener for Fulham but there were questions about a foul in the build-up with Antonee Robinson pushing Salah in the back. However, after another VAR check, the goal stood.

Jurgen Klopp was unhappy with the decision, telling Sky Sports: “It’s a clear foul, nothing else… I’m not sure what Lee Mason is doing at home, but that’s not normal contact in football. It’s enough contact to gain an advantage.”

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: The referee has got the best view of this. There’s no doubt whatsoever that Robinson places his hand on Salah. The only doubt is, when we touch a player, it’s if you touch him or push him. There’s no doubt Robinson puts his hands on his back and Salah feels them, but I don’t think in any way, shape or form how he has pushed him like that or touched him, that it would catapult him forward like that. The referee has the best view, he can see whether it’s a touch or a push and I would go with the referee – it’s not enough to give a foul, play on.

INCIDENT: Liverpool were awarded a late penalty when a Gini Wijnaldum free kick hit the arm of Aboubakar Kamara in the wall. Although his back was turned, his arm was raised high and the referee instantly pointed to the spot. Salah scored the resulting penalty.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: “I don’t think there’s any debate for two reasons. Whenever free kicks are set up like that now, the referee will always tell the players ‘don’t raise your arms’. You see him jump and Kamara will say he has turned his back when it has struck him but his arms are high and that’s the rule now.

“If the arms are that high, irrespective of whether he meant to handle it or now, it’s blocked the cross going in and therefore it’s a penalty. I don’t like refs simulation incidents but he simulated exactly what happened and you can see him say ‘I’ve got no choice’.”

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