As Liverpool defeated Manchester United with a 2-0 scoreline at Anfield, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) officials were surprised when match referee Craig Pawson did not initially give a foul committed on United goalkeeper David de Gea in the first half of the Premier League match. With Liverpool already leading with a 1-0 scoreline, the hosts thought that they had doubled their advantage with a Roberto Firmino goal. Pawson did not award a foul immediately as van Dijk jumped to challenge the Spaniard.
Firmino went on to score with a curling shot that prompted an angry reaction from David de Gea. Craig Pawson said stopped the game as VAR checked the incident for a potential foul and went on to overturn the decision, bring the scoreline back to 1-0. During half-time, a football presenter said that he had been told that VAR did not understand as to why Pawson did not immediately award a foul.
Former Manchester United skipper Roy Keane was of the opinion that VAR had made the wrong decision, adding that it was a huge turning point in the game. He said United was sluggish in their approach towards defeating Liverpool, adding that it was really confusing why Firmino's goal was disallowed. Keane said De Gea needs to keep his eye on the ball, adding that he was not able to understand why it was even considered a fall.
Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness criticised VAR, adding that Virgil Van Dijk could not have done anything different in the situation. Souness said that it was a completely fair challenge as Dijk was looking at the ball, adding that it was not a foul because a goalkeeper needs to keep an eye on the ball. However, Patrice Evra said that VAR gave the correct decision as he went in with his head and touched the arm of de Gea.