Jota won Liverpool’s penalty by being ‘really smart’ – VieiraCrystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira said referee Kevin Friend “killed our legs” by awarding Liverpool a controversial late penalty in Sunday’s defeat.
Friend judged Liverpool’s Diogo Jota was fouled by goalkeeper Vicente Guaita after the VAR told him to check his initial decision not to give a penalty.
Fabinho’s penalty sealed a 3-1 win but Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said the decision was “appalling”.
“I’m really frustrated by the decision,” Vieira said.
Speaking to BBC Sport the 45-year-old Palace boss added: “I have seen it many times, it is never a penalty. The wrong decision by the referee had a massive impact on the game. You should ask the referee to talk to you and explain the decision himself.
“I think Jota was really smart. Football is all about contact. We have meetings with the referees and they tell us football is about contact and that contact is part of the game. And now they’ve got it wrong.
“When we scored, the game was there for us to go and try and get that draw. But the referee killed our legs today.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said Jota “thought it was a penalty”, adding: “VAR thought it was a penalty and that is why the referee went to the screen so I am not sure what we are talking about now? Four eyes watched it.”
Ridiculous, appalling or just soft?Jota was brought down in the 85th minute and Fabinho converted the penalty in the 89thLiverpool lost momentum after dominating the match and opening up a 2-0 lead and Palace were pushing for an equaliser when Jota went down in the 85th minute.
The Portugal forward missed his attempted flick over Guaita and appeared to slightly change the direction of his run before colliding with the Spanish keeper.
There was clear contact but Jota’s move towards the goalkeeper prompted controversy.
“That is a genuinely appalling decision,” Lineker tweeted. “That is not a penalty. Never in a million years.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, former Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray said: “I feel as though Jota goes to finish the chance, but he completely misses the ball and the momentum takes him towards Vicente Guaita with the ball then running out of play.
“I can’t understand how Kevin Friend gets called over to the monitor let alone gives the penalty decision. For me it spoiled a really good game of football but ultimately Liverpool controlled large parts of the game and deserved the result on the back of that.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Don Hutchison said the decision was “soft” but was a penalty.
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