Why Man City were awarded a penalty for Marc Cucurella’s foul on Erling Haaland

City took the lead in the 25th minute on Sunday after referee Anthony Taylor awarded the spot kick much to the anger of the home players and fans. Many cited the fact Haaland had hold of Cucurella&aposs shirt as a reason why the foul should not have been given.

But the full-back&aposs insistence to keep hold of the striker was his downfall according to former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher on Sky Sports&apos Ref Watch. Explaining why the decision was given, he said: “You see it sideways and you cant unsee it. They are both grabbing at each other, Cucurella doesnt let go and hauls him to the ground and you cannot unsee it.

“The assistant has obviously got the best view, he has confirmed that to the referee. You see this on VAR, they are both grabbing at each other, it is never, ever going to be overturned by VAR.”

When asked by former City defender Danny Mills if a goal would have been overturned if Haaland had scored that chance, Gallagher replied: “I think not because when you see it from the outset they are both grabbing each other arent they?

“Cucurella makes the first move towards him and it is almost like Haaland is shrugging him off, he wants to get through he is strong but without doubt when you see the sideways view, Cucurella never lets go and he just hauls and hauls and hauls and he goes down. Once you see the sideways view you cannot unsee a foul.”

Interestingly Gallagher admitted VAR would not have overturned Taylor&aposs decision if he had chosen not to award the penalty on-field because it was not a &aposclear and obvious error&apos. In the second half there was further VAR drama when the officials checked to see if Haaland had handled the ball to send City 3-2 up.

While the decision took some time to come to, the goal was awarded. However, Gallagher did warn if the ball had glanced the arm of the striker and gone in, even though no advantage had been received, the decision would have been made to overrule the strike.