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Ex-Premier League referee explains Liverpool penalty decision after Wayne Rooney blamed two Man Utd players



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Credit: Premier League Productions / Sky Sports

Manchester United fans have had the reasoning behind the penalty that was awarded to Liverpool as Aaron Wan-Bissaka fouled Harvey Elliot explained to them.

During Manchester United‘s 2-2 draw with Liverpool over the weekend, Erik ten Hag‘s men suffered a blow in the last 10 minutes as Jurgen Klopp‘s men were awarded a penalty, which Mohammed Salah then converted.

What followed was a lot of controversy, as United fans pointed out following replays of the tie that Aaron Wan-Bissaka barely touched Harvey Elliot during the foul, as the real contact was only made once Elliot was falling over, prompting theories that it was a dive.

Why it was a foul

Dermot Gallagher, who spent over 10 years as a Premier League official, explained on Sky Sports why a penalty was the correct decision despite fans’ calls.

“I think penalty. If you make a challenge like this, my expectation was a penalty,” Gallagher said.

“People ask: ‘Is there a lot of contact?’ Well he dives in, he certainly does make contact. People will say: ‘Has Elliott initiated contact?’ I think he’s just stood his ground. My expectation was a penalty, and he gave it, and I think the decision is right.”

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Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock agreed with the verdict and explained that he was baffled by the reaction of United fans. “One thing we always talk about is the reaction of the player. Wan-Bissaka doesn’t argue it, no Manchester United player does. They all know it was a stonewall penalty.”

Rooney: it was a two-person mistake

Wayne Rooney, speaking after the game, explained that he felt two players were to blame for the penalty.

“When you go back a bit, Bruno Fernandes is too easy to get past when Joe Gomez is taking his run down the line,” Rooney stated.

“Bruno dives in and lets him get past, which is why Aaron Wan-Bissaka then has to come out. If he stays on his feet you don’t get to this situation. But it’s very poor from Wan-Bissaka.

“It’s sloppy. When you go to ground like that, you run the risk of giving a penalty away.”