William Saliba’s admission that Liverpool was denied clear penalty for Martin Odegaard’s handball stuns Jamie Carragher

Arsenal reclaimed their first place after weeks of Liverpool’s encroachment as the league toppers with a 1-1 draw at Anfield. The Gunners will spend their Christmas break jubilant at the top of the points table, whereas the Reds occupy the second spot, only one point behind.

The thrilling top-of-the-table encounter between Liverpool and Arsenal witnessed some contentious decisions by the match officials. After Jurgen Klopp shared his candid thoughts on the matter, Gunners defender William Saliba and former Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher also voiced their views.

William Saliba admits Martin Odegaard’s handball was clear penalty

Mikel Arteta’s side took an early lead against the hosts when, within 5 minutes, their center-back Gabriel Magalhaes netted the opener. The Gunners enjoyed the single-goal advantage until the half-hour mark, when Liverpool’s talisman Mohamed Salah scored the equalizer.

The fixture lived up to the anticipation between the two best sides, as expected. It was equally contested, with both teams aiming to extend their scorelines in their favor. However, the packed defense held the game to a 1-1 scoreline, with Arsenal securing a single point. This result was enough to propel them ahead of the opposition on the leaderboard.

William Saliba admits Martin Odegaard’s handball was clear penalty

However, controversy erupted regarding a decision when Martin Odegaard handled the ball in the process of defending against Salah inside his box. Liverpool raised a valid appeal for a penalty, but the on-pitch referee refused. Subsequently, VAR intervened before sticking with the original decision.

The French international William Saliba was named the man of the match for his solid defensive performance. While speaking in the post-match interview, the French defender subtly admitted that it was indeed a penalty, stating,

“Yes, of course. Of course, it was a penalty. But, I’m not the referee, and we have to accept the decision.”

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Via-Yahoo Sports

Despite this, the PGMOL justified their decision, saying, “Odegaard’s arm is moving towards the body and not the ball as he goes down.” Therefore, it was not given as a foul. This is in contrast to a previous incident during the Liverpool-Tottenham controversial match when they acknowledged a human error on their end.

Jamie Carragher calls out VAR after William Saliba’s statement

The former Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher shared the clip of Saliba’s honest admission regarding the penalty claims and called out VAR for the wrongful decision. He wrote,

“It was a penalty, and the man of the match knows it! Two blatant penalties for handball in the last two nights, and VAR don’t get involved,” upon retweeting the interview clip on X.

The crucial potential penalty-kick decision might have molded the course of the game in the favor of the hosts, but they had to convince themselves with a draw only. Notably, besides the only equalizer from Salah, Jurgen Klopp’s side missed a few of their goal-scoring opportunity for not being clinical in front of the goals 


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