Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has backed referee Andy Madley's decision not to award Tottenham Hotspur a penalty against Liverpool on November 6.
Spurs succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against the Reds at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after a first-half brace from Mohamed Salah. Harry Kane scored one 20 minutes from time, but it only proved to be a consolation goal.
However, the match could have gone down an entirely different path had the referee pointed to the spot in the 19th minute of the game. Eight minutes after Salah's opening goal for the Reds, Ryan Sessegnon found his way into Liverpool's box.
However, he was brushed aside by Alexander-Arnold, with the Spurs players protesting for a penalty. Madley immediately made it clear that the challenge was fair, a decision that was not overturned by VAR either.
Speaking after the game, Agbonlahor backed the call and told Football Insider:
"No, it [the Trent challenge] is not a penalty for me, no way. The push from Trent was so minimal that, for me, it was not a penalty."
Alexander-Arnold's tackle was swiftly compared to Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo's push on Harry Wilson against Fulham on November 5. The Portugal international was shown a red card for bringing down the former Liverpool winger while he was through on goal.
However, Agbonlahor did not think the two challenges were in any way similar. He continued:
"The one from Cancelo in the Man City game was a lot more fierce, the shoulder barge. That was a penalty because it wasn’t shoulder-to-shoulder, it was shoulder-to-back."
Andreas Pereira scored the resulting penalty to level the scoring for the Cottagers. Manchester City won the game via a late Erling Haaland penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Tottenham Hotspur give up golden chance to build an intimidating lead over Liverpool
Had Spurs beaten the Reds, they would have opened up a 13-point gap between the two teams.
In this scenario, Spurs would have played an extra game, but the psychological effect of such a gap would have been massive. Nevertheless, Liverpool clawed it down to seven points.
Manager Antonio Conte's side are fourth in the table with 26 points from 14 games. The Reds have 19 points from 13 matches and will now start to believe they can make the top four.
Liverpool will now play against Southampton on Saturday (12) November while Spurs take on Leeds United on the same day.