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Manchester City v Liverpool

Gomez reacts to controversial handball decision after Liverpool see De Bruyne fluff his lines for Man City

08:30 GMT 09/11/2020
Joe Gomez Liverpool 2020-21
The Reds defender saw VAR work against him during a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium, but he is already looking to move on from the incident

Joe Gomez has reacted to the controversial penalty decision that went against him during Liverpool’s visit to Manchester City, with the Reds able to shrug off the incident after seeing Kevin De Bruyne fluff his lines from 12 yards.

Jurgen Klopp’s side took the lead at the Etihad Stadium with a spot-kick of their own, as Mohamed Salah converted following a clumsy challenge from Kyle Walker on Sadio Mane.

City restored parity through Gabriel Jesus and were gifted a golden opportunity to edge in front late in the first-half.

Gomez was pulled up for handling inside the box, as he sought to a block a cross from De Bruyne, with VAR reviews leading the match officials to reverse their original decision.

A big call appeared harsh, as the ball struck the Reds defender on the elbow as he sought to pull his arms away, but the call stood and Liverpool were relieved to get off the hook as a Belgian midfielder surprisingly fired wide of the post.

Reflecting on another contentious penalty award, Gomez told Liverpool’s official website: “I wouldn't dispute it hit my hand but at the end of the day, I'm running back towards goal and everyone knows the power De Bruyne can hit the ball with.

“It's just a natural motion for me to run. I haven't made an attempt to put my arm towards the ball, it's just happened that quick.

“At the end of the day, it's the ref's decision. There's enough conversation going on around that rule and what's going on, but you just have to move on and accept what's happened.”

Given that the outcome could have been worse for the defending champions, Gomez was pleased to leave Manchester with a point taken from a meeting with fellow Premier League title hopefuls.

He added: “We had our chances. I suppose it probably is a fair reflection of the game in the end. 

“Some frustrating decisions at times but I thought we started the game well and had a good intensity about us in the first half.

“It slowed a bit in the second and both teams, I think, were a bit more conservative. 

“At the end of the day, we know how good City are and we've come away from home and got a point, so I think we've got to take that.

“As I said, it's not an easy place to come and we have to accept that we had our chances and so did they. 

“So I think a point is a fair reflection. We go into the international break now and hopefully we all come back healthy and ready to go.”

Klopp started with a front four against City that included Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota, while his biggest decision at the back saw Gomez line up alongside Joel Matip.

That pairing is expected to thrive in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, if further injuries can be avoided, with there already plenty of potential on display.

Gomez said of his latest centre-half partner: “Everyone knows how good he is and, for me, he is world-class.

“Obviously we've got a big miss in Virgil but I enjoy playing with Joel and we've just got to keep pushing and keep getting points together as a collective.”