Manchester City took the lead in their Premier League clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon under controversial circumstances.
Although the clash at the Etihad Stadium headed towards its final movement without a goal to show for it, there was no shortage of drama as the two in-form clubs slugged it out for victory.
When Conor Coady wasn’t making a superb goal-line clearance to deny the Citizens, Raul Jimenez was receiving two yellow cards in the blink of an eye for a truly needless dismissal.
Man City vs Wolves
Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola’s men eventually made the breakthrough with the hosts profiting from a penalty that Raheem Sterling duly converted for his 100th Premier League goal.
Nothing too shocking in that department, but there’s no denying that the decision for the spot-kick, which was corroborated by VAR, was pretty darn harsh on Wolves.
Joao Moutinho was punished for a ‘handball’ while blocking a cross from Bernardo Silva despite replays appearing to show that the Portugal international had actually been struck in the armpit.
Harsh penalty against Moutinho
The reaction of the Wolves midfielder just about said it all because although his arm was in what is commonly classed as an unnatural position, the ball didn’t appear to hit him on the raised limb.
But clearly both Jon Moss and the VAR were on the same wavelength as footage that appeared to show Moutinho blocking the cross with either his side or armpit appeared to be inconsequential.
However, don’t just take our word for it because you can make up your own mind on whether or not City should have been awarded a penalty by checking out the controversy down below:
You’ve got to admit, that seems pretty brutal on Moutinho.
Such a brutal handball decision
Now, to be fair, it is worth saying that the handball rules have been correctly mellowed over the last two seasons because the old system made for some even more outrageous verdicts from VAR.
However, even if the decision to award City a penalty does indeed fall in line with the laws of the game, that doesn’t make it feel any less harsh on players who get into situations like Moutinho.
One can’t help cringing when Premier League games are settled upon the minutest of technicalities when you really have to wonder what the player could actually have done differently with their limbs.
And when the resulting penalty is being taken by a lethal finisher like Sterling to become a Premier League centurion, then you can bet that the opportunity will be grabbed with both hands.