‘Appalling’: Gary Lineker reacts to Liverpool FC’s penalty in 3-1 win at Crystal Palace
Gary Lineker slams an "appalling" decision to award Liverpool FC a late penalty in a 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon
Gary Lineker slammed referee Kevin Friend’s decision to award an “appalling” penalty in Liverpool FC’s 3-1 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon.
Liverpool FC struggled to compete with a resurgent Palace side in the second half after Odsonne Edouard halved the deficit in the 55th minute following first-half goals from Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The home side were rampant in the final 35 minutes but Patrick Vieira’s side couldn’t find a way past Alisson Becker, who almost single-handedly kept Liverpool FC’s lead in tact.
And the Reds managed to seal three points when Fabinho scored from the penalty spot after Diogo Jota was adjudged to have been brought down by Crystal Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Friend initially ruled that there was no foul on Jota but VAR checked the incident for a number of minutes before instructing the referee to check the screen, leading to the penalty award.
While Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher expressed his surprise at the decision, Match Of The Day host Lineker was even more scathing in his assessment of Liverpool FC’s late penalty.
Lineker posted: “That Is Not A Penalty. Never in a million years.”
Before he added: “That is a genuinely appalling decision.”
The Reds knew that three points would reignite the title race with Liverpool FC starting the game nine points behind Manchester City after the Premier League leaders dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday evening.
The visitors made the breakthrough in the eighth minute when Van Dijk managed to lose his marker before he guided a powerful header into the net to score his third goal of the season.
Liverpool FC looked to be cruising to three points when Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in successive Premier League games after another assist from Andy Robertson in the 32nd minute.
However, Palace halved the deficit in the 55th minute when Edouard managed to beat Alisson before Fabinho’s late penalty.
Lineker had earlier lavished praise on Van Dijk for his headed goal.
Lineker wrote on Twitter: “Crikey! @VirgilvDijk headed that so hard, he’d have hit the net if he’d been 20 yards out.”
BBC Sport pundit Glenn Murray criticised his former club’s failure to put a defender on the post to block Van Dijk’s header.
“Unstoppable is the right word,” Murray told BBC Sport.
“Virgil van Dijk gets across the front post with a thumping header. It’s their ninth goal from corners, the most in the Premier League this season.
“Watching it back, no-one is touch-tight to him and then there’s nobody on the post. If there’s someone on the post I think they keep it out.”
Van Dijk has scored three goals in 21 appearances in the Premier League this season to help Liverpool FC challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Liverpool FC will face Leicester in their next Premier League game on Tuesday 10 February.