In the final game before the break, Liverpool walked away from Selhurst Park with all three points and the final few minutes were without stress thanks to Fabinho‘s penalty conversion.
But Jota was the man who was under the spotlight as he miskicked his attempt on goal and subsequently fell to the ground after Vicente Guaita connected with the No. 20.
Immediately the forward had his arms up asking for the decision but referee Kevin Friend waved it on, only for Craig Pawson on VAR to direct his colleague to the pitchside monitor.
He would change his mind, as is often the case when footage is reviewed by the onfield official, and controversy then ensued as many failed to agree on whether it was a penalty or not.
And the news of Friend was met by bemusement by Liverpool fans who can certainly think of one incident that required greater scrutiny than it received:
There have been far worse decisions. Friend is a shit referee, but others continue (Tierney etc) unpunished https://t.co/i9XUrUULo2
— LFCZA (@LFCZA) February 1, 2022
Liverpool get a marginal call one. Fucking. Time. https://t.co/wKRHlIbMB4
— The Legacy Fan Offside (@LFCOffside) February 1, 2022
Silly decision, yes. The worst we’ve seen in the PL this season? Absolutely not. https://t.co/1gHEsEwVTw
— Ben McKenna (@benmckennaJPI) February 1, 2022
Did Tierney get this for the Kane red and missing the jota Penalty? No… https://t.co/9paRBek5Xa
— Jimmy Allen (@JimmyAllen71) February 1, 2022
He didn’t even award it initially it was the lads down at Stockley Park. These lot can’t even do punishments correctly nevermind officiate games ? https://t.co/l9Own0J28U
— Loso ? (@LosoLFC) February 1, 2022
This is absolutely mad. There’s been so many worse decisions gone unpunished this season, unreal. https://t.co/nCREqE9kxO
— Liam (@Somos_LosRojos) February 1, 2022
Hmm. Several decisions this year have been worse and gone unpunished? Liverpool get one, there’s a national outcry and the ref’s demoted. It stinks. https://t.co/cRo9tnwMXH
— sam. (@SamAIex) February 1, 2022
The interesting thing here is – think of the absolutely ridiculous efforts PGMOL made to support outrageous decisions against Liverpool – such as the Jon Moss penalty a few years back and the Spurs (again) match recently.
The one time a poor call goes in favour of Liverpool you https://t.co/AWPTOTLjCo
— Stephen Drennan (@babuyagu) February 1, 2022
Yet Tierney continued on his merry way after not sending off Harry Kane, Jonathan Moss for that Man City penalty vs Wolves that hit his rib.
I don't like Kevin Friend, think he's a terrible ref, but that Jota penalty was no way the worst decision of all of the shit decisions https://t.co/lBSKGwWycA
— Darren Brodie (@brodobaggins5) February 1, 2022
The decision making is just as inconsistent in the headquarters as it is on the pitch. We did ask for consistency, just not for officials to be consistently inconsistent.
And let’s remember, the penalty came when Liverpool were 2-1 up with minutes left so it did not change the outcome of the game even if it did make Reds breathe a little easier.