Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has insisted that Michael Oliver’s decision to give Fabinho a yellow card was for his challenge on Son Heung-min was the right call.
Spurs came away with a hard-fought draw from Anfield on Saturday and most of the post-match reaction has understandably been dominated by Jurgen Klopp’s post-match comments.
The Liverpool boss took aim at Tottenham’s defensive approach (Sky Sports), insisting that the away side should have been more adventurous, given the quality of players they have, and he has come in for criticism for those comments (talkSPORT).
However, one incident that has arguably not got the limelight it deserves was Fabinho’s challenge on Son in the 80th minute of the game.
Just when the South Korean wriggled free and was looking to run into space, the Brazilian brought him down by seemingly pushing his forearm into the Tottenham forward’s neck.
Fabinho's blatant and aggressive elbow on Son's face yesterday. VAR nowhere to be seen. He should have been sent off anyway with 4/5 late challenges. pic.twitter.com/aYNJcTHxoz
— The Spurs Web (@thespursweb) May 8, 2022
Oliver booked the Liverpool midfielder for the challenge and VAR chose not to intervene.
Gallagher believes that the decision was the right one, insisting that it was a case of Son running into Fabinho’s forearm rather than the Reds star throwing his arm back.
Gallagher told Sky Sports about the incident: “I think yellow card is the right decision. If you look, he catches him with his forearm, his forearm is up, but it is there and Son goes into it, it is not one he has used as a weapon as I call the throwing it back. So, I think right call.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Gallagher’s interpretation of the incident might have merit but there was enough in there for VAR to have taken a second look.
Perhaps Oliver should have been sent over to the touchline to re-watch the incident, given that he did not have the best of angles.
Besides, Fabinho had already committed four or five blatant tactical fouls before this one and was not booked for any of them.
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