‘A risk’ - Rafa Benitez offers verdict on Man City disallowed goal in Liverpool loss

Rafa Benitez has explained what the problem is with Man City’s disallowed goal vs Liverpool

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez critcised referee Anthony Taylor and VAR following Liverpool’s win over Manchester City at the weekend. Mohamed Salah’s brilliant second half goal proved to be the difference between the two sides.

The defending champions looked to have taken the lead through Phil Foden earlier in the match, however it was eventually chalked off after a VAR check showed that Erling Haaland had fouled Fabinho in the build-up. While there had been some complaints that it shouldn’t have been a foul, Benitez was adamant that it was but had his own criticisms of the decision.

Speaking to Premier League Productions, the Spaniard said: “One of my concerns as a manager is that, when you allow a game to carry on, it could be one minute extra, you could have an injury, a red card, a goal disallowed. So then everything will change. It’s not easy to make a decision, because the game is very fast.

“It’s true, for me it was a foul. And everything that can happen after that is a risk. For the players, the fans, for everyone. So they have to adjust that, or it will be a problem in the future.”

The referee went onto become the subject of plenty of abuse after his performance at Anfield, in particular his failure to give Liverpool a free-kick for an apparent shirt pull on Mohamed Salah by Bernardo Silva. Jurgen Klopp’s anger at the decision led to the German’s red card shortly after.

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen also gave his verdict on the disallowed goal, claiming it was ‘pretty harsh’ to take it away from Foden.

Owen said: “I think once the referee has seen it and played on, then unless something really drastic happens. Unless the hands of Alisson were on the ball or in the actual moment of them scoring. But going back 10 seconds earlier for a tiny tug.

“I do think it was a foul, don’t get me wrong. But going back that far, because otherwise you’ll just keep going back and back and back. I don’t know, being a neutral I would say it’s pretty harsh.

“We’re trying to disallow goals all the time. The referee has seen that and it’s a foul but he didn’t give it. Is it bad enough to keep going back? I don’t think so.”

The Reds’ win over City has left them eighth in the Premier League - six points from the top four. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s side now sit five points below league leaders Arsenal.