Date: 2nd June 2019 at 8:30am
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Rio Ferdinand was critical of Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko after the Frenchman handled the ball in the penalty area to give Liverpool an early penalty.

The ball struck Sissoko’s arm from Sadio Mane’s attempted cross inside the opening minute of the Champions League final, with the midfielder’s arm adjudged to have been in an unnatural position, and Liverpool were awarded a penalty which was converted by Mohamed Salah.

That handball proved to be a decisive moment in the game, as Liverpool managed to maintain their one goal advantage until Divock Origi managed to add a late second to seal the win the Reds.

Ferdinand suggested that Sissoko was rightly penalised for the early handball and was critical of the Frenchman for allowing the referee the opportunity to award the penalty.

“It’s an absolutely nightmare start for this Spurs team, but I think his hand’s up in the air, when you put your hand up in the air like that in the penalty area your asking for trouble,” Ferdinand told BT Sport [8:57pm] at during half time in the Champions League final.

“I don’t know why his hand is up there, who’s he talking to? And he’s given the referee a chance to give the decision.”

OPINION

Ferdinand is right to criticise Sissoko for raising his arm in the penalty area and giving the referee an opportunity to give the early penalty which allowed Liverpool to take the lead. In a match of the magnitude of a Champions League final it is essential that teams do not give the opposition an opportunity to take an early advantage, and the Frenchman’s handball gave Jurgen Klopp’s side that early advantage. Also given the fact that Champions League officials have been giving handball decisions for players ,who have their arms in unnatural positions all the way through this season’s tournament, it was a poor decision for the midfielder to make. Sissoko did recover to be an important player for Pochettino’s side, but his early mistake in handling the ball ultimately proved costly for Spurs. The midfielder’s early handball ultimately cost Spurs as they were unable to come back from the early set back, as Liverpool ultimately ended up 2-0 winners.