Premier League

Carragher And Souness Disagree On Fabinho VAR Penalty Decision

Carragher And Souness Disagree On Fabinho VAR Penalty Decision

Since Virgil Van Dijk's injury in the Merseyside derby, many have predicted the most open title race in years.

Liverpool's injury problems and Man City's dip in form have meant that the two-club dominance we have seen in recent seasons was unlikely to materialise again this year, opening the door for improving sides like Tottenham, Chelsea and perhaps even long-shots like Leicester and Southampton.

Aside from the bizarre thrashing at Villa Park earlier in the season, Liverpool have coped admirably with their injury problems, by maintaining a strong run of league results that has kept them as front-runners for the title come the end of the season. But this weekend has seen most of the big guns drop points and Liverpool were no exception this afternoon against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Before the excellent first-half opener from Fulham's Bobby Decordova-Reid, Liverpool were perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty after Fabinho's challenge on Cavaleiro went to a VAR check. Referee Andre Marriner, having initially waved away the penalty appeals, was advised to go to his monitor and review the incident.

This was one of the rare occasions that a referee stuck to his original decision having reviewed the footage, a decision that commentator Jamie Carragher agreed with.Β Carragher's praise of the decision seemed to focus mainly on the referee sticking to his guns, but certain angles of the challenge present a strong argument that Fulham should have been awarded a penalty.

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Carragher's view wasn't shared by Graeme Souness in the Sky studio at half-time, who felt that Fabinho had clipped the Fulham player's standing foot before any contact was made with the ball. Given the number of penalties we have seen awarded by VAR this season, Liverpool were somewhat fortunate to get away with this one.

Fulham, who have been much improved in recent weeks, led for almost an hour until a VAR-approved Mo Salah penalty meant that the points were shared. But Scott Parker's side were good value for their point and Liverpool's chances in the second half weren't enough to snatch a win late on.

Liverpool remain behind Spurs on goal difference at the top of the table ahead of the difficult Christmas schedule, and Jurgen Klopp's attention will once again turn to managing the fitness of his squad now that Diogo Jota has been added to the injury list - potentially a big loss given his impressive form in his debut season so far.

SEE ALSO: Shane Duffy Back On Form With Trademark Header In Celtic Win

Emmet Bradshaw

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