Liverpool fans have reacted angrily to a statement released by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) which claims that John Moss was correct to award Spurs' first penalty in Sunday's controversial draw to Liverpool.
Controversy first erupted in the 87th minute, when Harry Kane was brought down in the penalty area by Liverpool's Loris Karius. John Moss instantly pointed to the spot but then seemed undecided as he ran over to his linesman Eddie Smart.
With the cameras close enough to pick up what the officials were saying; both of them seemed unsure as to whether Lovren had got a touch on the ball prior to it finding Harry Kane. With Moss admitting he had "no idea", the referee then asked his fourth official Martin Atkinson whether he "has anything from the TV" - despite the fact that VAR is not used in Premier League games.
Eventually, Moss decided to stick with his original decision and the penalty was awarded, much to the anger and confusion of many Liverpool fans.
Now, in attempt to clear up the confusion and quell the anger, PGMOL have released a statement admitting that Moss "referencing 'TV' was misguided" but that the referee ultimately "judged correctly in recognising that Kane was not offside, as Lovren had deliberately played the ball."
Many Liverpool fans remain unhappy, however:
But the ball was played to an offsides player doesn’t matter if lovren tried to kick it out the ball was played to Harry Kane which is directly involved in the play which means its offsides.— joel shulman (@joelS0812) February 5, 2018
Utter nonsense from the officials. The ball is played towards Kane who started his movement towards the path of the ball, at this moment he is offside. Any touch Lovren has is after the initial offside!— Paul ryan (@paulryan1976) February 5, 2018
Please correct me if I’m wrong.
This is utter crap. He didn't need to know who touched the ball, he only needed to know if it was touched, which clearly none of them did, so he took a wild guess, then to go on record with a lie. Concerning.— Tor Ove Holmen (@toroholmen) February 5, 2018
The whole thing stinks of a cover up. This isn't about that game now. It's done.— 'Sir' Nisar Mir #FBPE (@nisarmir21) February 5, 2018
Trying to back up the refs is good but when they've SO OBVIOUSLY made a mistake, admit it. that way at least we'll think they're human. As it stands, they'll just get more hate, regardless of teams
Jon Moss said to the linesman that he had 'no idea' if there was contact, but states here after that he was in the perfect position to see it. I'm not even surprised at the lies anymore— stop it salah (@stopitsalah) February 5, 2018
The offside rule seems to change depending whether it goes for or goes against Liverpool. If it goes for Liverpool, it would have to be a deliberate pass to be onside. If it's against Liverpool, it changes to any touch of the ball, even a complete air kick, means they're onside.— TD 🇸🇳🇧🇷🇪🇬 (@DyerThomas) February 5, 2018
Liverpool fans might feel even more angered by the fact that Spurs were awarded another penalty just seconds from time and minutes after it looked like Salah had won them the game. This time, Lamela went down in the box under a challenge from Van Dijk; Moss initially waved away the appeals but Smart intervened and the penalty was subsequently dispatched by Kane to nick a point for Spurs.