Danny Rose moved his hand towards the ball – a penalty was correct
Two big handball calls last night but two very different outcomes. The Danny Rose incident seems more clear-cut. He appears to make a movement with his hand towards the ball and Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers, after going pitchside to study footage of the offence, has no hesitation in giving handball.
I would trust Kuipers’ judgment 100 per cent. For me, he is the best referee in the world and he has been dealing with VAR probably longer than anyone because the Dutch were among the first to trial it.
With Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, it is more debatable. He does not appear to make any movement with his hand and the distance between him and goalkeeper Alisson, who knocked the ball towards his arm, is very short.
There was similar controversy last month when Manchester United were awarded an injury-time penalty against Paris Saint-Germain when Diogo Dalot’s shot struck Presnel Kimpembe on the arm and a penalty was given.
Uefa’s head of referees Robert Rossetti indicated in January that officials in Champions League matches would penalise any unnatural arm movement that makes contact with the ball. It would appear these guidelines informed last night’s decisions.
However, Ifab, football’s law makers, have indicated that from June 1 handball will be given against a player if their arms extend “beyond a natural silhouette” – even if it is accidental. That is when the fun really will begin.
Keith Hackett is a former referee and his ebook, You are the Ref, is out now