Walker praises ref’s ‘character’ for Anfield penalty no-call

Walker praises ref’s ‘character’ for Anfield penalty no-call

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has praised the “character” of referee Michael Oliver for not awarding Liverpool a late penalty during Sunday’s 1-1 draw between the title rivals.

City winger Jérémy Doku kicked Alexis Mac Allister in the chest while clearing the ball in the 99th minute of the match but no foul was given by the on-field officials or the VAR, prompting Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to say “it was 100% a penalty” and question what the video official Stuart Attwell “had for lunch.”

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Walker, however, praised Oliver for not being influenced by the environment or circumstances.

“My view is the referee and the VAR made a decision on what it is,” he told Sky Sports on Monday. “I feel the ref reffed it really, really well.

“I feel once you have Anfield and the crowd behind him, he could have crumbled. But that shows his experience, that shows his character and that’s why he’s regarded probably as one of the best referees in this country and in the world at the minute.”

Walker went on to discuss Premier League title race, with City in third just a point behind Liverpool and leaders Arsenal.

“I don’t think no-one’s got the edge. We are where we are,” he said. “We’ve got tough games like the rest of them, we’ve all got tough games.

“I said to the lads in the dressing room [before playing Liverpool] that this game is not going to define our season — it’s a big step in the right direction towards out ultimate goal at the end of the season, but it won’t define our season.

“We know the Premier League, we’ve been in here many, many years, and we’ve seen a lot of twists and turns, ups and downs.

“So, there’s a lot of football to be played, as you say there’s 10 big important games to play and hopefully for Manchester City we go and do that big four-in-a-row that no-one has ever done.”

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