RB Leipzig V Manchester City in pictures
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Former Premier League referee Peter Walton confirmed that VAR did not check Manchester City’s late penalty claim in their 1-1 draw with RB Leipzig on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola and his players were incensed as handball was not awarded when the ball appeared to strike Benjamin Henrichs’ arm inside the box.
Josko Gvardiol’s header levelled the game after Riyad Mahrez’s first-half finish, but the visitors felt that they should have had a spot-kick given in the dying embers. Ilkay Gundogan’s cross was headed towards goal by Ruben Dias but his effort was blocked by Henrichs as the German side held on for a draw in the first leg.
The referee waved away the protests and Walton confirmed to BT Sport that VAR did not check for a potential penalty. “From the angles that we are all seeing here I thought there was a handball offence there,” Walton said. “The arm was in an unnatural position for that phase of play, the ball clearly strikes it from the angles we are seeing but the VAR did not check it.
“I have a monitor link with UEFA that tells me when VAR are checking incidents, this particular incident wasn’t checked and I am surprised it wasn’t. If there’s an angle that we are not seeing where it strikes his shoulder then I understand that, I haven’t seen that angle. All I have seen is what we have seen today and for me, that was a handball offence.”
Guardiola refused to criticise the officials after the game, however, despite his initial reaction to both the unawarded penalty and Gvardiol’s controversial goal as Dias felt that the Croatian had fouled him in the process. “Like I said, the goal for Gvardiol and the penalty, I didn’t see it, I didn’t see it so I cannot talk about it, but I know what happened,” Guardiola said.
Former City winger and BT Sport pundit Shaun Wright-Phillips was perplexed at a penalty not being awarded, as he claims that it could be the difference in the tie. “I wouldn’t be so worried about the result, he would be the first to tell you if he didn’t think his team played well,” he said. “It is a hard place to go, like we’ve all said, it’s going to be a tricky game. But this, I don’t understand how VAR have not flagged this for the ref to even have a look at. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
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