Before I get onto how shit we were and how we deserved nothing from this game, I’m going to get the VAR shit out of the way first. Yet another absolute fucking farce.
Hardly anything will be made of this because it’s a group game, we’re going through anyway and Toulouse fully deserved to win the game. So this won’t get too much coverage in the wider media. Even Klopp didn’t seem to care too much, although I’m sure privately he’s seething about yet another thoroughly unacceptable decision in which officials have ignored their own rules and protocols to ensure the outcome they wanted.
Because I don’t know how you can look at what happened here and come to any other conclusion than they wanted to find a reason to disallow the goal and were prepared to go back as far as possible to do it. And that’s before we get into other elements of it.
We can just dismiss and say it doesn’t matter because ultimately it doesn’t. But the issue here is that these officials will no doubt be taking charge of games in the knockout stages when it most definitely does matter. It might not be us on the wrong end next time so my anger here is 90% based on the decisions and the process involved in it rather than the fact it chalking off a goal for us. I’d be almost as angry about it if it was happening to another team, as it’s the wider picture here that is important. In fact, I’d have been massively pissed off if it had been Toulouse being robbed of an equaliser against us.
It’s really disturbing that this was allowed to happen. Firstly, based on my understanding of the rules and everything I’ve read about it, you can’t go that far back for a handball. Goals can only be disallowed for accidental handball if it’s the goalscorer or the player who plays the final pass that handles. So that’s them going against one of their own rules. Maybe this is only a Premier League thing, but I don’t see how as we’re supposed to be playing by the rules of football.
Secondly, phase of play. Toulouse clear the ball after Mac Allister has ‘handled’. That starts a new phase of play, surely? So again, you can’t go back that far even for a foul, let alone a handball which as we’ve already established was irrelevant in this case as Macca didn’t score or assist.
Thirdly, UEFA’s own guidelines say this: “no handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from his own body and, in particular, when the ball does not go towards the goal.”
So it goes off Macca’s chest, away from goal and brushes his arm. Additionally, he’s trying to pull the arm away and it hits him high, arguably high enough on the sleeve that it isn’t even handball anyway, although that part of it is subjective. The rest of what happened isn’t subjective.
So on three different counts they’ve ignored the laws to go back and disallow a goal. Actually wait, it’s four counts because the ref on the pitch didn’t give it as a foul and there’s not enough there to warrant an overturn anyway if we’re talking about ;clear and obvious’. I’m not sure that’s a thing in Europe though and it might just be a PL policy. The other three things though, they apply right across the entire football world.
Like I say, no-one is that arsed because of the low stakes involved, but everyone should be because this is just yet another example of how this shit is killing football. When that goal went in nobody was thinking it would be ruled out. Toulouse could have felt a little aggrieved that the ref missed the alleged handball but these things happen, always have, always will, and you live with minor grievances like that (unless you’re an Evertonian).