Arsenal center-back David Luiz has defended his shirt-pull on Mohamed Salah which led to his side conceding a penalty in Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool. The Brazilian center-back was to blame for the Reds' second goal which ended any potential comeback for the visitors at Anfield.
Prior to the incident, Liverpool had taken the lead through Joel Matip's header with four minutes of the first half left to play. The opportunity to increase the lead subsequently presented itself in the early minutes of the second half after David Luiz fouled Mohamed Salah inside his side's penalty area.
The Egyptian then stepped up and made no error of the opportunity to put his side further ahead. Nine minutes later, the 26-year-old Liverpool forward secured a brace to put the game out of Arsenal's reach. Substitute Lucas Torreira pulled one back for the Gunners with just five minutes of normal time to play.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Luiz revealed that his former colleague at Chelsea confessed that he did not feel contact on his shirt despite the evidence provided by the VAR before the penalty was awarded.
"Yes, I think it is [a penalty]. You cannot take out from the players, it is just a reflex.
"When I turned I see that I was taking and so I took off [my hand from Salah's shirt]. I spoke with Mo and he said 'I didn't feel you touch me, that's why I didn't go down to the floor' but now with the VAR, you cannot see the power so it is difficult for the referees.
"He saw the shirt like that, but I don't know. It's difficult for them so I cannot complain with their efforts because it is difficult for them too.
"If you play with an extra-large shirt now, there could be a penalty every time. It's interpretation, so I think if you pull someone with power and you change his strength to go to the ball, it's different.
"It was just a reflex but that's it, it made the penalty and after that he gave me the yellow. So on the third goal I could not make the foul and put my team in trouble with 10 men. So I think it conditioned my game a bit after that and it was more difficult.
"But like I said, the team fought until the end and the team created a lot of chances to score here today. It could be a different game but now we are still with the six points, in three games, we're going to play a tough game against Tottenham. I think you have to look forward and try to win.
Salah so good even two David Luiz's can't stop him... pic.twitter.com/JkqNmxLYWf— Mark Brus (@mbrus88) August 24, 2019