Home News Kyle Walker claims Michael Oliver showed “character” in Liverpool penalty decision

Kyle Walker claims Michael Oliver showed “character” in Liverpool penalty decision

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Kyle Walker took a political stance in questions on Liverpool’s late penalty shout against Man City, insisting referee Michael Oliver “showed his character.”

Such is the nature of refereeing in England that the final instalment of Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool vs. Pep Guardiola’s Man City in the Premier League has been overshadowed by a VAR call.

With Jeremy Doku’s high boot colliding with Alexis Mac Allister‘s chest in the box deep into stoppage time at Anfield, Oliver waved away a penalty.

This came under VAR Stuart Attwell’s insistence that Doku had got the ball first, and that his foot was not high enough to constitute a dangerous challenge.

That is, of course, hugely debatable – particularly as the time between the incident and the VAR check’s completion being just 20 seconds, with no chance of Oliver being sent to the pitchside monitor.

Klopp and Mac Allister represented the Liverpool view that it was a clear penalty, but speaking to Sky Sports on Monday, Walker refused to comment.

“It’s probably not up for me to say if I do think it’s a pen,” he said when asked if he didn’t think it was a penalty.

“If I say it’s not a pen, headlines; if I say it is a pen, it’s headlines.

“So I think the VAR has checked it, the ref’s done it – that’s all I’m going to say on that.”

Oliver had already awarded Liverpool a penalty earlier in the first half, with Mac Allister equalising after Ederson brought Darwin Nunez down in the box.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 10, 2024: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister appeals for a penalty during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But the referee, and more tellingly Attwell, chose not to make a difficult decision in the final seconds of the game – and despite this, Walker praised a show of “character.”

“My view is the referee and the VAR has made a decision on what it is,” he continued.

“I feel that the ref did really, really well. I feel once you have Anfield and the crowd behind him, he could have crumbled there.

“That shows his experience, that shows his character and that’s why he’s regarded as one of probably the best referees in this country and in the world at the minute.”

Evidence of Oliver being the best referee in the country would have been getting the call right, but don’t let that get in the way of politics!