Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has given his verdict on Manchester City’s injury-time penalty against Fulham, as well as Joao Cancelo’s red card in the first-half.
After Pep Guardiola named Haaland on the bench, very few City fans would have thought they’d genuinely need the 22-year-old to come on and win the game for them. Julian Alvarez seemed to confirm exactly that after his superb Sergio Aguero-esque strike into the roof of net in the 16th minute – but things quickly went downhill for the Blues.
Joao Cancelo was shown a straight red card by referee Darren England after he was judged to have illegally muscled Fulham’s Harry Wilson off the ball inside the penalty area. Former Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira proceeded to send Ederson the wrong way from the spot, as he made it 1-1 just before the half-hour mark.
Alvarez and Jack Grealish were eventually replaced by Haaland and Phil Foden in the 64th minute, and it didn’t take long for the prolific striker to make his mark. The former Borussia Dortmund man headed home a Kevin De Bruyne cross with just 15 minutes to go, only for VAR to rule the goal out for offside.
City were then handed a lifeline, as De Bruyne was tripped by Fulham defender Antonee Robinson inside the area during injury time. Haaland, who admitted after the match just how nervous he was, slotted the ball past former Arsenal shot-stopper Bernd Leno.
Gallagher has now had his say on the two controversial incidents during the game, as he admitted that Cancelo should have been sent off for his challenge on Wilson.
He told Sky Sports : “The first decision, is it a foul? Well, it is a foul. He [Cancelo] knows he has got to stop the player and he goes into him. The second thing, does it deny a goalscoring opportunity? Well he [Wilson] has got the ball at his feet, if he isn’t fouled he has got a shot at goal.”
The former referee then went on to discuss the last-minute penalty incident that saw De Bruyne fouled by Robinson, also admitting that the official made the correct call once again.
He said: “The referee is in a good position. He gives it. It’s given on-field. Does he get the ball? No. Does he catch his ankle? Yes. Clumsy, but the referee gives it. That’s the key thing here, it’s not thrown to VAR. Referees have slightly different tolerance levels.”
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