Ilkay Guendogan: Liverpool’s opener should have been a penalty for us, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Ilkay Guendogan: Liverpool’s opener should have been a penalty for us

Manchester City's players were left fuming in the dressing room after watching replays of Liverpool's controversial opening goal in a 3-1 loss at Anfield yesterday morning (Singapore time), midfielder Ilkay Guendogan has said.

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to handle the ball inside his own box in the sixth minute. But, instead of a City penalty, the hosts broke and 22 seconds later Fabinho drilled in a spectacular goal from outside the box.

The goal was checked by the video assistant referee (VAR) and allowed to stand as Liverpool went on to clinch the victory and move nine points clear of City in the English Premier League title race.

"We saw the incident again in the dressing room afterwards and, for me, obviously, it's a penalty. But, if you ask a Liverpool player they would say, 'You can give it, but it's maybe a 50-50 situation,'" Reuters quoted Guendogan as saying.

"It takes a tough mentality to fight against that, and unfortunately they scored the second straight after."

City manager Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, refused to be drawn on the controversy.

When Sky Sports asked for his opinion on the opening goal, the Spaniard said: "Ask the referees, don't ask me.

"Ask (referees chief) Mike Riley and the guys in the VAR, don't ask me."

Bernardo Silva took a similar line, saying: "If I speak, I will be in trouble. I don't want to speak."

Ex-EPL and international referee Mark Clattenburg, however, insists the officials made the right call.

He wrote in his Daily Mail column: "VAR and Michael Oliver made the correct call... although I disagree with the reasoning the Premier League have provided.

"It is the arm of Manchester City forward Bernardo Silva that deflects the ball onto Alexander-Arnold and that is why, for me, play should not be brought back.

"If Silva's arm does not divert the ball, then yes, I believe a penalty should have been awarded as Alexander-Arnold's arm is in an unnatural position and he is using it to make himself bigger.

"That is why I do not understand the Premier League's explanation that it was not a deliberate handball."