Home News Revealed: What VAR told referee Michael Oliver to deny Liverpool penalty

Revealed: What VAR told referee Michael Oliver to deny Liverpool penalty


Jeremy Doku’s challenge on Alexis Mac Allister was not deemed a high boot by VAR official Stuart Attwell, who denied Liverpool a late penalty vs. Man City.

Doku’s studs collided with Mac Allister chest in the penalty area in the 98th minute of Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and Man City.

It came in a battle for a bouncing ball, with footage showing Mac Allister touched it first before the Man City substitute’s attempted clearance made contact.

The expectation was that VAR would overrule referee Michael Oliver, who waved away initial appeals for a late penalty, but that quickly unravelled.

Within 20 seconds, Oliver told players that the decision had been ratified by VAR and that play would continue, with the two sides level at 1-1 when the final whistle blew.

According to Sky Sports commentator Peter Drury, who was privy to conversations between the referee and VAR, Attwell adjudged Doku’s challenge to have been in a “reasonable” position.

Ultimately, then, it was not deemed to be a high boot from the Man City winger, even though Mac Allister would likely have the stud marks to show otherwise.

Former referee Mike Dean, who now works for Sky Sports, flip-flopped on the decision as usual.

At first Dean claimed he “wouldn’t be surprised if Stuart sent [Oliver] to the screen” to make his own judgment on the decision.

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 with the check completed in a matter of seconds, he backtracked, saying: “He’s obviously played the ball first and followed through, I’m guessing normal coming together.

“He’s very, very fortunate there in my opinion, Doku.”

Mac Allister had already converted a penalty early in the second half, after Ederson brought down Darwin Nunez following Nathan Ake’s sloppy backpass.

Another from the spot would have kept Liverpool two points clear of Arsenal at the top and pushed them three from Man City in third.

Instead, Arsenal are top of the Premier League, albeit level on points with the Reds, with 10 games left to play.