Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk may have handed Alisson Becker an advantage when Jarrod Bowen stepped up to take his spotkick for West Ham.
With the score at 1-0 to the Reds, the Hammers were awarded a penalty before half time after Joe Gomez brought down Bowen inside the area, leading VAR to intervene.
Before the ball was put on the spot, Van Dijk scuffed the penalty spot up in front of the Kop to try and interfere with Bowen’s penalty as Alisson dived to his right to keep Liverpool in the lead.
Referee Stuart Atwell saw Van Dijk standing on the penalty spot and proceeding to check any damage that may have been done, but nothing was found and Bowen missed the spot kick.
Steve McManaman said on Amazon Prime Video at half-time: “A scuff or a step? I think he steps on it. He should’ve scored his penalty, he does stand on the penalty spot but he should’ve scored.”
However, the spot kick was initially awarded after a lengthy delay which saw the referee advised to check the pitchside monitor after Joe Gomez bundled Bowen over.
The decision went the way of the Hammers, with the England international stepping up to take the resulting effort.
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Bowen was made to wait an age as the check, subsequent protests and Alisson’s delaying tactics were in play. And that wait proved key for Liverpool.
Liverpool fans praised Van Dijk’s intervention for his role in the penalty miss. “Back to being mentality monsters! We need wins,” one fan said in response.
“We’ve needed more s***house for a while,” another mooted, with a third describing the incident as “proper football”.