Mark Clattenburg gives verdict on Liverpool's disallowed goals vs Burnley

Mark Clattenburg believes the match officials got just one of two major calls wrong in Liverpool's 2-0 win against Burnley on Boxing Day. 

Goals from Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota gave the Reds all three points at Turf Moor, but refereeing decisions once again took centre stage as Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott both had goals ruled out during the game.

Gakpo smashed the ball into the roof of the net in the first half and thought he put his side 2-0 up, but referee Paul Tierney chalked it off as Nunez was adjudged to have fouled Charlie Taylor moments earlier. Clattenburg feels the Dutchman's goal should have stood as Nunez didn't make any contact on the Burnley defender.

He told Amazon Prime (quotes via Liverpool Echo): "See, I thought Paul Tierney refereed this game really well, he played a wonderful advantage for Liverpool's second goal but this one I don't agree with," he said. "You look at the reaction of the Burnley defender - he puts his hands to his head. He's gone in front of Nunez and when I see it from different angles I don't see any contact from Nunez, therefore I don't see it as a foul.

"Once Paul Tierney gives it - and this is why there's so many arguments if the VAR is doing his job or not - this is such a subjective call. He's made the decision on the field of play and the VAR's gone 'you know what? There's not enough to disallow it'.

"I don't agree, I think the best decision would have been to play on and the goal be given. There isn't enough contact, for me, to be awarded as a foul."

Liverpool once again had the ball in the back of the net in the second half as Elliott slotted home from close range past the despairing dive of James Trafford. The Reds reeled away in celebration, but the goal was ruled out upon consultation with the VAR as Mohamed Salah was adjudged to have been in an offside position. While Clattenburg admitted that Salah was pushed into an offside position by a Burnley defender, the fact that he landed up there and blocked the goalkeeper's line of sight was enough to give the decision in the home side's favour.

He added: "I can see it from both sides. The referees are applying the laws of the game as they're written - was Mo Salah in an offside position? Yes. Was he pushed in an offside position? Yes. Was that enough for a penalty? No. Factually he's in an offside position. Is he in the line of the goalkeeper at the moment Elliott strikes the ball? Yes.

"You can argue the goalkeeper is going one way. Is he trying to go one way to save the ball? We don't know, we're not goalkeepers. Referees are only applying the laws of the game as they're written.

"What we look at as well is the distance. Mo Salah is quite close to Trafford, the goalkeeper, in the six-yard box. If Mo Salah was five, ten metres further up it would give Trafford a chance to save the ball, but as the ball is struck there is an argument is Trafford going one way? Would he have had a chance to save it? That is not the referee's decision, it's applying the laws as they're written.

"Was Mo Salah offside? Yes. Was he in the line of vision? Yes, so I can understand why it was ruled out. For me, the easiest decision for the referee once he's gone to the screen is to disallow it."

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