Liverpool news: Pundit issues 'shock' verdict on VAR decision as 'scandalous' controversy analysed
Danny Mills has suggested Liverpool avoided a “big shock” against Villarreal after referee Danny Makkelie chose not to award the hosts a first-half penalty on Tuesday (3 May).
The former England defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the Spanish side “ran out of steam” during the second half – but hinted things could have been different if they had taken a 3-0 lead.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson looked to have felled loan star Giovanni Lo Celso with Villarreal 1-0 up – but match official Makkelie deemed the challenge a fair one.
The Reds went into the break 2-0 down on the night but rallied to win 3-2 and claim a 5-2 victory to book their place in the Champions League final against Real Madrid later this month (28 May).
As quoted by Spanish outlet Marca (3 May), Villarreal president Fernando Roig slammed the decision as “scandalous” and suggested the referee wasn’t at the level required to take charge of the match.
Mills suggested the incident wasn’t clear and obvious and thus couldn’t have been overturned.
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“It’s a subjective one,” he told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley.
“It was always going to be a difficult decision to overturn because it wasn’t clear just how much contact there was, and who initiated that contact.
“But listen, Villarreal blew up in the second half. They ran out of steam. Had it gone to three-nil, of course, it may have been a completely different story.
“They didn’t quite have the intensity in the second half. Villarreal were dead on their feet at half-time.
“They punched well above their weight to get to that stage.
“It would have been a big shock if they had beaten Liverpool.”