‘For the referee to overturn it is a brave decision’: Peter Crouch praises match official in reversing controversial call to award Atletico Madrid a late penalty against Liverpool as they desperately chased an equaliser
- Diogo Jota appeared to have brought down Jose Gimenez in the 84th minute
- After the referee awarded Atletico a penalty, he was informed by VAR to check it
- German official Daniel Siebert then overturned his call after watching it again
Peter Crouch insists the referee who overturned Atletico Madrid’s late penalty against Liverpool in their thrilling Champions League group stage clash made a brave and fair call.
On a crazy night at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico thought they had won a spot-kick just six minutes from the end when Diogo Jota appeared to bring down Jose Gimenez, and Germany’s Daniel Siebert pointed to the spot.
But Siebert was then informed by VAR to check his pitchside monitor to look at the decision again and, despite pressure from the home side and their supporters, overruled his own call, leaving Liverpool to go on and hang on to a 3-2 victory.
Atletico Madrid thought they had won a late penalty when Jose Gimenez was brought down
Gimenez appeared to have been fouled by Liverpool forward Diogo Jota in the 84th minute
Former Liverpool striker Crouch insists Siebert made the correct decision, believing Gimenez had dived to win the initial spot-kick following Atletico’s floated free-kick into the box and the defender’s tangle with Jota.
‘I think he definitely dived but I thought it was slightly clumsy,’ he told BT Sport. ‘When he gives the penalty, I thought he’s not going to overturn it. Had it been the other way around, if he hadn’t give the penalty, then he sticks with that decision.
‘If that was the Premier League that’s what we would’ve seen. For him to overturn it, fair play to him in that stadium, under pressure he made the decision and stuck with it.
‘It looks even more clumsy to give the penalty as he stumbles over him. It could have gone either way, for the referee to overturn it is a brave decision, fair play.’
Referee Daniel Siebert awarded Atletico a penalty but was informed by VAR to check his pitchside monitor to possibly consider overturning his original decision
Atletico players and fans nervously looked on as the German official rewatched the incident
Fellow pundit Joleon Lescott was also in agreement with Crouch but the ex-Manchester City defender admitted he could see justification in the spot-kick before also hitting out at Gimenez for going down far too easily.
‘I think the right decision was made. I could see why it could have been a penalty,’ Lescott added.
‘But when he’s reviewed it, he’s made a meal of it, if he goes down in a more natural way then he gives the pen.
‘If he falls and collapses rather than spins and goes down less theatrical, he sticks with the decision to give the penalty. It’s a strong decision by the referee and I agree with it.’
To the despair of the home side, Siebert overturned his original call to cancel out their penalty
Defender Felipe shows his frustration with Siebert shortly after his controversial call
Just moments earlier, Jota had been brought down himself to earn a spot-kick that Mohamed Salah dispatched to give Liverpool their 3-2 lead.
Salah had given Liverpool the lead in just the eighth minute, before Naby Keita doubled the advantage with an excellent strike just 13 minutes in.
Antoine Griezmann then scored twice to equalise in the first half before he was sent off after half-time, with the Reds securing a victory at the Wanda Metropolitano to open up a five-point gap at the top of Group B ahead of the Spanish side.
Defeat proved a bitter pill for Atletico boss Diego Simeone under the circumstances, as he stormed off down the tunnel without shaking hands with Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp.