'There's no doubt' - Dermot Gallagher delivers verdict on controversial Liverpool incident v West Ham
By Aramide Oladipo
Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes that official Neil Swarbrick was spot on when he refused to award West Ham United a penalty in their match against Liverpool on the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s side took one step closer to Champions League qualification as they put on a wonderful display to beat West Ham 4-0 at the London Stadium.
A brace from Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho and a goal apiece for Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi saw the Merseyside club leave with all three points.
However, in the build up to Liverpool’s third goal, not only did Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum appear to elbow West Ham skipper Winston Reid, he also handled the ball inside his own penalty area.
When questioned about the incident on Sky Sports HQ’s Monday morning Premier League Daily show, Gallagher was adamant that the right decision was made on the day.
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“I didn’t think this was handball. He has jumped and the ball struck his arm, there’s no doubt about that,” he said as quoted on the Sky Sports website.
“I thought there was more chance of the game being stopped for a head injury to the West Ham player than for handball.
“Whether the ball has been transferred upfield very quickly and the referee hasn’t looked back, I don’t know. It happened so quickly.”
The defeat meant that West Ham finished the Premier League season with eight league defeats at their new stadium, compared to the three league losses they suffered in their final season at Upton Park last season.
Liverpool can now secure a place in the Champions League next season with a win in their final league game of this campaign as they welcome already relegated Middlesborough to Anfield.
In other West Ham news, Jermaine Jenas has blasted the Hammers’ recruitment following their loss to Liverpool.