Social media reacts to confirmation of Martin Odegaard VAR blunder that cost Liverpool

These things even themselves out over the course of a season, right? RIGHT?!

Liverpool received confirmation of another VAR error that has gone against the club this season, as the head of the Premier League referees Howard Webb admitted that Martin Odegaard’s handball in the 1-1 draw at Anfield last month should have resulted in a penalty.

In truth, it's something anyone who saw the game on 23 December already knew.

The Arsenal captain clearly moved his hand towards the ball and his unpunished attempts to play basketball on the Anfield turf quickly became meme fodder online.

Referee Chris Kavanagh didn't award a penalty, however, while VAR team David Coote and Lee Betts could find no reason to overturn the decision.

It became the second high-profile incident of a potentially game-defining incorrect decision involving Liverpool this season, following the Luis Diaz disallowed goal debacle at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Odegaard handball decision was the latest subject of the Premier League's ‘Mic’d Up’ show on Tuesday, after VAR room audio was played that included lines almost as iconic as those from the Spurs game.

They include: "It clearly hits his arm. That's not the point I'm looking at. Cool." And: "So he's falling down. He's moving his arms in towards him. So it's check complete for me."

Good process, boys... *sigh*

Speaking on the show, Webb conceded Liverpool should have been awarded a penalty.

Right outcome not reached

Discussing the controversial call, Webb admitted Odegaard gained a 'huge advantage' with the movement of his arm, while the right outcome was 'not reached' by the officials.

He said: “The on-field referee recognised Odegaard had slipped and saw his arm go towards the ground. We’ve talked in the past about supporting arms if someone falls or breaks their fall with their arm, it’s a pretty well-established concept.

“In this situation, though, there’s an important difference to a normal player that’s fallen. This is not just Odegaard accidentally falling onto the ball, his arm does go out but then he pulls his arm back in towards his body which is when the ball makes contact with his arm.

“The VAR looked at that aspect. He thought it was a case of Odegaard trying to make himself smaller by bringing his arm back to his body. That is the element that’s important here. Whether it’s instinctive or deliberate, he gets a huge advantage by bringing the arm back towards the ball.

“The feedback we got back afterwards was very clear, the game expects a penalty in this situation and I would agree. As such, this one did not reach the right outcome on that basis.”

Meanwhile, ESPN journalist Dale Johnson revealed that an independent panel voted 4-1 in favour that a penalty should have been given.

It all evens out?

The news was received as you'd expect by fans and pundits on social media, with many making the same point:

It's all the more impressive that Liverpool remain two points clear at the top of the Premier League table after 20 games, despite the incorrect officiating decisions in the Spurs and Arsenal games.

Time will tell how those incidents impact the Reds' season overall.

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