The Premier League have explained why Trent Alexander-Arnold didn't concede 'that' penalty appeal but Pep Guardiola was still fuming over the decision as Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners at Anfield.
- Liverpool 3-1 Man City: Report and highlights
- Scroll down for reaction from Guardiola, Klopp, Alexander-Arnold, Mourinho & Keane
The defending champions were still arguing for a handball by Alexander-Arnold in the box when Fabinho fired in a stunning goal from outside the box to give the hosts a 1-0 lead after six minutes.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane put the game out of sight before a late consolation for Bernardo Silva as the leaders moved eight points clear at the top and nine ahead of fourth-placed City.
But the post-match debate centred around that hotly disputed first-half incident.
Referee Michael Oliver waved away the appeals after Kevin De Bruyne's cross deflected up off Bernando Silva's arm first before hitting the defenders outstretched limb.
The Premier League referees body (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) have since explained it wasn't awarded because Alexander-Arnold's arm was not in an "unnatural position" and that there wasn't enough reaction time for him to move his arm out of the way.
The official handball rules state a player will be penalised if an arm or hand makes the body ‘unnaturally bigger’ and this usually occurs when they are above the shoulder or if the arm or hand are away from the body in a standing position.
This explanation won't make Pep Guardiola feel any better, with the Man City boss clearly fuming over the decision.
After the game he told Sky Sports: "Ask the referees. Ask the referees, not me. Ask Mike Riley and the guys running the VAR. I'm trying to do a job, I'm trying to talk about our performance that was so good."
Klopp said he had not seen a replay of City's penalty claim which preceded Liverpool's opener but sympathised with Guardiola's side.
The German told Sky Sports: "No, I didn't see it. People told me that at first it hit Bernardo Silva's hand and then it was Trent's hand. Someone has to decide that. If Bernardo Silva had scored with his hand it would have been disallowed, wherever the hand was. Who wants to make that decision?
"I didn't see it but I understand each disappointment after conceding a goal after a situation like this, 100 per cent. We would have felt exactly the same."
Alexander-Arnold said: "There's VAR and it has hit my arm but I think it might have hit Bernardo Silva's first. It's one of them where you have to carry on playing and we went down the other end and punished them.
"They were complaining about the goal...we went down the other end and went 1-0 up."
Former City captain Vincent Kompany, working as a pundit for Sky Sports, believes VAR should have reviewed the handball claim to stop the action before Fabinho opened the scoring for Liverpool.
He said: ""One way or another the action should have been stopped there and then in the other box. You can argue about Bernardo's handball before. I don't think he knows anything about it. It's a natural position.
"But (Alexander-Arnold) is a handball, that's not a natural position. Stop the action then and make a decision.
"You go which way you want to go, but my interpretation is that Bernardo's hand is in a natural position and Alexander-Arnold's isn't."
"One way or another it's had an effect on the game. I can understand why there's (City) frustration."
Fellow pundit Roy Keane said: "See that next week and it will be a penalty. It was a huge moment, but they still had to travel up the pitch and City have to defend better than that."
Former Premier League referee Bobby Madley took to social media to point out that City would not have been awarded a penalty upon VAR review as the ball originally struck the arm of Bernardo.
"Point of law...as Silva handled the ball (albeit accidental) before TAA did this would have been penalised even if a penalty had been awarded," Madley wrote in a tweet, which he later deleted.
"Attacking handball doesn't have to be deliberate. So, a penalty would never have been possible due to it touching Silva hand in build up."
Ultimately it doesn't change the fact that Liverpool's winless run at Anfield in the league now stands at 19 matches and they face an uphill battle to retain their title.
Kompany said: "It's worth remembering how City finished the game. Anfield's always been a problem, not just this year but time and time again.
"It's a physical battle in the middle of the pitch that City have lost. I'm talking across the years, we've just not been able to deal with that.
"Did it mean that we didn't win titles or the club has not been moving forward? Not at all.
"So I would take the positives, learn and progress and understand that this league has not been played yet."
But former Manchester United captain Keane believes Liverpool will take huge confidence from beating the reigning champions.
"I know City had a go in the last 15-20 minutes but to me the game was over," Keane said.
"Liverpool just sat back, were 3-0 up. I said before City are worthy champions and I don't think it will have a big knock-on effect on them, because they've got a brilliant coach and brilliant players
"But the effect on Liverpool - already the European champions and the best team in England - going forward will be massive."
Former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho feels Liverpool are now guaranteed to be champions, saying: "From my position I think it's done unless something dramatic happens in terms of an injury situation breaks the team.
"But I think the team is a complete puzzle. They play exactly the way they are adapted to the players.
"City are capable of winning seven, eight, nine matches in a row, but I don't see how Liverpool can lose the advantage they have."
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