By Keith Hackett

21st Mar, 2022 | 3:42pm

Diogo Jota: Ex-Premier League official issues 'absolute' VAR claim as controversial Liverpool footage analysed

Keith Hackett has heaped praise on VAR for not disallowing Diogo Jota’s winning goal for Liverpool in their 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest yesterday (20 March).

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee admitted he thought Jota was offside on first viewing but was glad he had been given the benefit of the doubt as the attacker.

The 25-year-old prodded home from a Kostas Tsimikas cross with just over 10 minutes to go at the City Ground.

After a VAR review for offside, the goal was allowed to stand and Liverpool were able to hold on to set up an FA Cup semi-final with Man City.

Asked for his assessment of the incident, Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “Initially, my view was he was stood offside and the goal was going to be ruled out.

“I’m thinking when I’m looking at it ‘He’s offside, that’s going to be ruled out’.

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“But we know that the system that is now operating VAR much better than it did last year.

“Ultimately, angles play a major part and what we view and what VAR views is somewhat different.

“We want attackers to be given the benefit of the doubt and we want to see goals scored. It fits that criteria, absolutely.”

Jota now has 19 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions this season, including 30 starts.

The Portugal international now has seven goal contributions in seven FA Cup games for Liverpool and Wolves.

In other news, a £12million-valued star will tell Liverpool he wants to join a London club.