David Luiz says that Arsenal could have had a different outcome at Liverpool if they’d scored first, and seemed to suggest that because he didn’t pull Mo Salah’s shirt with full power, the decision to award a penalty against him was harsh.
It was as clear a penalty as you’ll ever see, but rather than hold his hands up and admit a mistake, the Brazilian rambled on about the power of the tug, VAR, and even how players wearing extra large shirts might win more penalties.
The Gunners went down 3-1 to Liverpool at Anfield, and while Luiz admitted that the spot kick early in the second half ‘killed the game’, he didn’t seem to take any real responsibility for it.
“I think we created a lot chances here,” he told Sky Sports afterwards. “Liverpool is doing amazing for many years, yes. But if we scored first I think it could be a different game, and we had an opportunity to do that.
“The second goal, the penalty killed the game, and after that it was more difficult.
“What we take is the spirit, trying to play until the end, we scored a goal, it could have been a different game today.”
Asked about his very obvious foul on the Egyptian, Luiz continued, “It was a reflex. When I turned, I see [him], and I take out the power.
“I spoke with Momo and he said he didn’t feel it, that’s why he didn’t go to the floor.
“But now with the VAR you can’t see the power, it’s difficult for the referees, he sees the shirt like that. I don’t know, I can’t complain with the referees, it’s difficult for them.
“If you play with a large, extra large shirt now, you could have a penalty every time.
“It’s interpretation, so I think if you pull someone with power and you change his ability to go to the ball, it’s different, so it was just a reflex.
“That’s it, I got a yellow, so then I could not make a foul and put my team in trouble with 10 men so that conditioned my game a bit.
“But as I said the team fought until the end, we created a lot of chances to score today. We have 6 points, we have to look forward to a tough game against Tottenham and try to win.”
As for Arsenal’s struggles in playing out from the back, Luiz believes that will get better in time
“We are trying to build from the back, we have the quality for that. We’ll try to improve every game, try to attack deep and move the ball between the lines.”