Liverpool delivered their finest performance of the season to put Arsenal to the sword on Monday night.
It goes without saying that Arsenal gave a good account of themselves at Anfield, but the statistics don’t lie and Jurgen Klopp’s men were simply a class above their opponents.
Nevertheless, it was the Gunners who took the lead on Merseyside with Alexandre Lacazette scuffing a left-footed strike over Alisson Becker after Andrew Robertson’s defensive clanger.
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
If anything, however, it gave Liverpool the kick up the backside they needed and it only took them nine minutes to flip the game on its head thanks to goals from Sadio Mane and Robertson.
The moment that Arsenal fans will be kicking themselves about came after the break with Lacazette seeing a glorious one-on-one opportunity saved all-too easily by Alisson.
And it proved to be costly with Liverpool finally grabbing the goal to wrap up three points with Diogo Jota becoming just the 13th player to score on his Premier League debut for the Reds.
Controversy at Anfield
However, we live in a VAR-ruled world where refereeing controversy couldn’t be higher and Arsenal fans thought they should have been playing against 10-men within the opening minutes.
Mane was lucky to escape unpunished after footage appeared to show him elbowing Kieran Tierney in the face.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because the debate in the Premier League about the current handball rule is even fierier than suggestions that Mane should have been dismissed.
That’s because there’s a strong contingent of fans on social media that think Jota’s third goal should have been disallowed for handball based on replays of him controlling the ball.
Potential Jota handball
Screenshots clearly show that the ball comes into contact with the very top of Jota’s arm as he cushions it, before proceeding to beat Bernd Leno with a fine strike into the bottom corner.
The Guardian even remarked: “I’ve seen a replay of Jota’s goal and it was a clear handball. It hit his thigh and then his arm before he volleyed it in. I doubt it changed the result but, really, what’s the point?”
Check out some of the reaction across Twitter down below:
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
I tell you what… it’s a tough one.
Having watched the goal live without too many qualms, I admittedly rolled my eyes when I first saw people suggesting that Jota should have been punished, but now I’m not so sure.
What this largely came down to for me was that the ball did indeed hit Jota’s arm below the boundary considered to be his lower armpit, which is the new definition for this season.
In the words of the Premier League: “The boundary between the shoulder and the arm is now defined by ‘the bottom of the armpit’.
“To penalise a player for handball the match officials must have clear evidence that the ball has struck the player’s arm below the bottom of the armpit and in the red zone indicated below.”
It’s obviously subjective as to whether we think Craig Pawson had the ‘clear evidence’ he needed to punish Jota, but it’s further proof that the handball rule is causing chaos in the Premier League.
Either way, though, I think we can all agree that Liverpool would have won regardless.
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