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Jeremy Doku asserts that his chest-high challenge on Alexis Mac Allister did not warrant a penalty

Jeremy Doku has addressed, for the first time, the contentious chest-high challenge he made on Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister, firmly stating: "It did not constitute a penalty."

Liverpool were angry they were denied a last-gasp spot-kick in the 1-1 draw with title rivals Manchester City at Anfield a fortnight ago after Doku's studs made contact with Mac Allister's chest in the area.

Referee Michael Oliver did not give a foul and a VAR check also decided not to penalise Doku.

But furious Reds boss Jurgen Klopp insisted the challenge was "100 per cent a foul", as did many pundits.

Head of referees Howard Webb subsequently said the VAR was right not to overturn the decision and City winger Doku said with a smile: "Of course I agree.

"No, it was a risky challenge. I could have dealt with it differently. I still believe it wasn't a penalty but I know some other referees would have given it. But it wasn't a penalty so I was a happy.

"Was I worried? For a moment when they were looking at the VAR and maybe looking for a penalty.

"For me is wasn't a penalty, but I understand why some people are angry and why the Liverpool fans believe it was a penalty."

Doku will be in the Belgium side which takes on England in a friendly at Wembley on Tuesday night.

The 21-year-old believes Gareth Southgate's side are among the favourites for the trophy at Euro 2024 this summer.

"Can we win? We're going to try," he added. "Of course England are a good team, one of the favourites for the Euros.

"But we have prepared well and we have all the tools to make it a competitive game. We are going to try to win, that's our mentality. It won't be easy, but we are going to try."

Romelu Lukaku missed the goalless draw with the Republic of Ireland last week due to a groin injury.

But with Kevin De Bruyne injured, the Roma striker – who is still on loan from Chelsea – is set to be named Belgium captain upon his return to London.

"He's available, he trained the last four days, yesterday and today with the team, so he's ready," said coach Domenico Tedesco.

"On the pitch he's important because he's always available, always there and if you have a striker like him you can find him. He's difficult to defend against.

"Off the pitch he's unbelievably important. He is like a papa for this group of young players that we have in our team."

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