The Reds now only lead Manchester City with three points, and the 2018-19 Premier League title race promises to get more exciting as the remainder of the campaign unravels.
Senegalese forward Sadio Mane scored the game’s first goal 22 minutes into the game, but Liverpool were soon pegged back as Michail Antonio equalized for the hosts six minutes later.
However, the visitors’ goal shouldn’t have stood as replay showed James Milner, who assisted the goal was in an offside position.
“The mistake which led to Sadio Mane’s opening goal for Liverpool came about entirely because of the assistant referee’s poor positioning,” Clattenburg told Sportsmail.
“This highlights how important it is for the assistant to stay in line with the second-last defender. In this case, Simon Beck was a good couple of yards out of position and that is probably why he felt James Milner was onside, because the attacker comes from his left-hand side.
“In that situation, instinct would tell Beck that Milner was onside. However, it is clear this was an error on the part of the assistant and Liverpool’s goal should not have stood.”
West Ham United squandered few chances afterwards, but they would have felt undone by Liverpool’s offside goal, and manager Manuel Pellegrini was left baffled by the decision post-game.
Had VAR been in place, Liverpool’s goal would have surely been rightly ruled off, and while many continue to feel that the technology will ruin the flow of the beautiful game, officiating mistakes like that of last night’s will be immediately rectified with its help.