Steve McManaman left ‘bemused’ by actions of Liverpool forward Diogo Jota vs Newcastle

Liverpool were battering the Newcastle United door down and should have scored more goals, but at 3-2, and with around ten minutes left on the clock, things were becoming interesting at Anfield.

Both Liverpool and Newcastle have been here before. They have relived and written classics on the Premier League stage. And another story was about to be told.

But when Diogo Jota was put through on goal by Alexis Mac Allister, the £42 million signing rounded the goalkeeper, delayed and then went to ground. Why not just shoot at the open goal?!

This left Steve McManaman ‘bemused’ because he couldn’t understand why the Liverpool attacker would do that, as he told Premier League Productions on 01/01/24.

Yes, there was contact, but not enough to do down and certainly not enough to go down what felt like days later.

The on-field call from Anthony Taylor was a penalty, and in the world of VAR, that’s too much for them to overturn, so the on-field call stood and Mohamed Salah, after missing his first-half penalty, ensured that he put this one away.

Did Diogo Jota dive against Newcastle United?
“It was a lovely ball by Mac Allister,” said McManaman.

“Firstly, I just don’t know why he doesn’t score himself.

“There is contact by the goalkeeper, but then he goes down two strides too late. Once it’s given, because there is contact there, and there is contact, but he stays on his feet and then falls over.

“I don’t know what was going through his mind. It would be interesting to see what he says. Once Anthony Taylor has given it, then it’s not a clear and obvious error because there is definite contact.

“I am slightly bemused myself because the contact is there, why doesn’t he fall over there?! He has two more steps and then jumps. I thought he could have tapped it in.”

Diogo Jota should have been booked
It’s simple. VAR should have overturned the on-field call and booked Jota for diving.

But in this stupid world of football, because there was contact, it’s enough to stick with the on-field referee.

It feels as though people sometimes forget that this is a contact sport. Plus, it also needs to be noted that Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka did try to withdraw his hands, so it’s not like he hauled the player down.

Either way, it’s a prime example of why on-field referee calls and VAR in general is just a pure farce.



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