Liverpool fans fume as Howard Webb ‘hiding away’ from Pascal Gross red card call

Liverpool fans have accused referees’ chief Howard Webb of ‘hiding away’ from another contentious decision involving their side.

Webb has appeared on the new Match Officials: Mic’d Up show, where the PGMOL boss sheds light on high-profile and controversial decisions as part of a drive for greater transparency. Naturally, Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal against Tottenham – the result of a VAR communications cock-up – took centre stage while a number of other decisions were analysed.

However, another call which went against Jurgen Klopp’s side was overlooked. When Brighton’s Pascal Gross conceded a penalty for bringing down Dominik Szoboszlai on Sunday, he escaped a card as VAR deemed him not to have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity.

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Mo Salah scored from the spot to give Liverpool the lead but Brighton levelled in the second half as the match ended 2-2. However, some Liverpool fans were adamant Gross should have seen red and hit out at Webb for not discussing it on Mic’d Up.

One asked: “Where’s the red card that wasn’t given? Not a goalscoring opportunity my a***. Dom just taps it in if he’s not dragged back.”

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Another moaned: “Never any of the subjective #LFC ones. Jones/Mac Allister/Szob chat.” A third commented: “So Webb hiding away the audio from the Gross challenge v Liverpool then. No surprise there.”

PGMOL rules offer a clue as to why Gross stayed on the pitch, although the absence of at least a booking will still surprise some.

The rules state: “Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball or a challenge for the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.), the offending player must be sent off.”

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