Referee Anthony Taylor awarded a spot-kick after Marc Cucurella bundled Erling Haaland over at the back post.
But Sky Sports commentator Jamie Carragher, who can hear audio of conversations between the VAR and the officials, suggested VAR did not look at the whole incident.
Haaland initially had hold of Cucurella’s shirt, which allowed him to get in front of the Chelsea defender.
Chelsea also claimed Jeremy Doku fouled Moises Caicedo in the build-up.
Haaland stepped up to put City in front from the spot and Carragher said: “No, this is not right. I am looking at the back post… Cucurella, initially, he is tight, he is aggressive with Erling Haaland… no, this is not right. That is not the right decision.
“When the VAR looked at it and confirmed they were giving a penalty, they were looking at the end of that tussle. You have got to look at the start of it. The reason Haaland finds himself ahead of Cucurella is because he pulls his shirt. I think it is very harsh on Chelsea.
“I think it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. There is no doubt at the end [of the clip] it looks a certain penalty. I think they [the VAR] have got to take it a little bit back… that shot we have just seen [of Haaland grappling with Cucurella].”