Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the ongoing Premier League season at the hands of Manchester City at the Etihad on Thursday night.
Pep Guardiola’s side earned a well-fought 2-1 victory over Jurgen Klopp’s side, but the hosts were lucky to have finished the match with all their players.
Vincent Kompany denied Mohamed Salah a chance to go clear on goal with a malicious tackle, but referee Anthony Taylor only handed him a yellow card, instead of a sending off for the wild lunge.
“Vincent Kompany was lucky not to be sent off for his challenge on Liverpool’s Mo Salah,” Clattenburg wrote in his Sportsmail column.
“In defence of referee Anthony Taylor, he does not have the luxury of slowing the action down and reviewing the incident — and in moments such as this, that is sometimes what you need to be 100 per cent sure, because everything happens so quickly.
“On watching the replay, it is easy to make a case for a red card, because it is clear Kompany lunges with a straight leg and his studs showing. The Belgian knew he had to make that type of tackle because Salah would have been away and one-on-one with the goalkeeper. A referee should consider all such factors.”
The Video Assistant Referee system (VAR) would have done justice to the incidence, as Taylor would have seen the replays from a clearer angle and rightly sent off Kompany.
The advantage of such difference in numbers would surely have favoured Liverpool, and it could have seen them win or at worst get a draw.
The loss means Liverpool now lead City with just four points, blowing the title race wide open with 17 games to play.