'I was screaming' - Liverpool hero left fuming at referee decision vs Atalanta

Isak Hien during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Quarter-Final second leg match between Atalanta and Liverpool FC .
Isak Hien during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Quarter-Final second leg match between Atalanta and Liverpool FC . -Credit:Francesco Scaccianoce - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Former Liverpool man Peter Crouch was ‘screaming’ for a red card to be shown in the first half of Liverpool’s Europa League clash against Atalanta.

The Reds were looking to build an unlikely comeback in the second leg of their quarter-final tie against the Italian side. Liverpool found themselves 3-0 down after the first leg at Anfield after what was a night to forget.

If they hoped to complete a comeback then an early goal would be needed. That’s exactly what Liverpool got, when the referee pointed to the spot for handball after just seven minutes with Mo Salah making no mistake from the penalty to reduce the deficit.

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But it was another handball incident just before halftime that got the pundits talking. As Luis Diaz looked to break away the ball came off the arm of Isak Hien, the referee blew up for a free kick and showed the defender a yellow card.

Liverpool players argued that the card should have been a red with Diaz potentially through on goal had the ball got to him. Diaz was also booked for his protestations, but the pundits believe that the Liverpool men had a point.

"I was screaming for a red card straight away," Crouch said at halftime on TNT Sports. "You can see he leans into the ball.

"There was a definite move of the arm, and I think Diaz is going in here. I think he takes the touch across him. I think that should be a red card. If you look here, he leans right into it and I don’t think the player is covering behind him."

Gary McAllister was in agreement with his fellow pundit adding: "I think it is denying a goal-scoring opportunity. If it gets to Diaz without the handball, I think his first touch is taking it towards the middle of the goal and away from the covering centre-back. You could argue that it should be a red."

On closer look at the incident, Crouch did seem to explain why the referee may have decided against showing a red card. He added: "I can see why he has not given it. [Berat] Djimsiti is coming across to cover and I think he thinks he might get there. He’s so good at that Diaz in taking the ball across defenders."