Former referee Dermot Gallagher says the penalty Sadio Mane won against Fulham was fully deserved after Sergio Rico pulled him to the ground.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch segment, Gallagher says Rico gave Craig Pawson no choice.
He said: “I think he’s (Rico) panicked, he’s pulled him down. The referee has no choice but to give a penalty.
“If he’d have thought it through, I don’t think Mane would have got the ball. He’s dropped the ball and gone for the quick way. It’s a penalty.”
The reaction to Liverpool’s win over Fulham has been amusing at best and infuriating at worst.
Had Manchester City scraped a jammy win over the Cottagers, the media reaction would have praised their ability to grind out important points in tough conditions.
That hasn’t been the case for Liverpool, however. Instead, there has been needless debate over whether or not Mane should have been awarded a penalty.
It was a penalty in my view and as a result, Liverpool can enjoy the international break top of the Premier League.
Two points separate Liverpool and Manchester City. The champions have a game in hand which will be played against United.
If City drop points when they face their City rivals and Liverpool have managed to preserve their gap at the top, the title could be there for the taking.