Dean Saunders: Sissoko handball "never a penalty"

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Saunders: "That was never a penalty"

Former Liverpool striker Dean Saunders insists that the Reds should not have been awarded a first minute penalty in Saturday's Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool were awarded a spot-kick after just 25 seconds of play, which Mohamed Salah duly converted to put Jurgen Klopp's side a goal to the good in Madrid.

Divock Origi's cute finish three minutes before the end wrapped up the win for Liverpool, who won their sixth European Cup at Atletico Madrid's glistening new Wandra Metropolitano stadium, but Saunders is adamant that the referee made the wrong call right at the beginning of the match.

After two stunning semi-final comebacks from both Liverpool and Spurs in the build-up to Saturday's final, the match turned out to be a complete washout lacking in any real quality, which has been blamed on the early penalty decision killing the contest before it had even started.

The fact of the matter is, though, is Tottenham failed to create any real chances going forward and with Harry Kane evidently still not fit, the north Londoners chances of victory looked slim from the outset.

Conversation over whether the penalty should or should not have been given continues to spark debate among football fans across the country, with Saunders admitting on radio station talkSPORT that he was shocked it was given. The 54-year-old former Wales international said:

“Obviously I don’t want to take anything away from Liverpool, I wanted them to win the game, but I can’t believe anybody thinks it was a penalty.

“For a start, ‘an unnatural position of your arm’, this law, they’ve got to bin it.

“You use your arms in a natural position to do different things when you’re defender.

“Sissoko is pointing to Tripper and I can actually tell you what’s come out of his mouth from the way he was pointing, he’s saying, show him down the line.

“He’s using his arms as a way of doing that – that’s the way you communicate sometimes as footballers.“He’s put his arm up in the box to point at Trippier, so his arm is in a natural position to do that.

“Number two, the ball hasn’t even hit his arm! It’s hit his chest and rolled onto his arm – so how is that a penalty?

“Unless you’ve got blind loyalty, I don’t think any Liverpool fan if they were a neutral on a Sunday morning would say that’s a penalty.

“That was never a penalty.”

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