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“A soft penalty”: Brighton player and manager have their say on controversial moment against Liverpool

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Danny Welbeck and Graham Potter acknowledge the ‘soft’ penalty awarded to Brighton by VAR

Speaking in separate interviews (h/t Brighton and Hove Independent) after the full-time result at the Amex, Brighton and Hove Albion striker Danny Welbeck and manager Graham Potter admitted that the penalty won by their club against Liverpool, with the help of the VAR was ‘soft’.

Diogo Jota’s 60th-minute opener was sandwiched between two Liverpool goals which were ruled out for offside by the VAR. In injury time, Danny Welbeck went down theatrically after Andy Robertson caught his foot with a mistimed clearance.

Referee Stuart Atwell consulted his pitch-side monitor and pointed to the spot to award Brighton and Hove Albion a last-minute lifeline. Pascal Gross dispatched the penalty and the game ended 1-1, with Jurgen Klopp and his players fuming after the full-time whistle.

Liverpool players surround Stuart Atwell after the VAR awarded Brighton and Hove Albion a penalty in the closing stages of the game. (GETTY Images)

Liverpool players surround Stuart Atwell after the VAR awarded Brighton and Hove Albion a penalty in the closing stages of the game. (GETTY Images)

The referee did not spot Andy Robertson’s contact with Welbeck’s foot in real-time, and he only gave the penalty after being asked by the VAR to reconsider his on-field decision.

Speaking about the penalty incident after the match, Danny Welbeck made the admission that the penalty was ‘soft’, but one they would gladly take.

“We knew we could create some opportunities and exploit their backline. We got a soft penalty but it’s one we will take. We got the point and we’ll move on now to next week. In today’s game with the VAR, I got there in front and nicked it around him. He kicked me and then the ball, so…The referee went to see it on the screen and made his decision.”

Brighton manager Chris Potter agreed with Danny Welbeck and admitted the penalty they got wasn't 'stonewall'. (GETTY Images)

Brighton manager Chris Potter agreed with Danny Welbeck and admitted the penalty they got wasn’t ‘stonewall’. (GETTY Images)

Welbeck was also quick to acknowledge Liverpool’s poor luck with the VAR as the Reds saw 2 goals disallowed for offside earlier in the game before the penalty decision.

“They could have gone further ahead with the VAR and offside rules. There’s no benefit of doubt in today’s game but it’s 1-1 and that’s how it’s ended.”

Brighton and Hove Albion’s head coach Graham Potter shared Danny Welbeck’s view on the penalty and said it was one of those decisions that could go either way.

“It wasn’t the most stonewall penalty that I’ve seen I would say. But we spoke about it before the game, sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t and it’s a beautiful part of football that will always be debated – referees’ decisions and linesmen’s decisions as well.”

After being hard done by, by the referee and the VAR, Liverpool will be aiming to get back to winning ways against Ajax on Tuesday night in the Champions League.

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