Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey says Liverpool midfielder Fabinho was “lucky” not to be sent off against Manchester City.
Manchester City and Liverpool ended 2-2, after a fantastic, end to end encounter, which of course, didn’t come without talking points.
Speaking to Caught Offside, Halsey believes Fabinho could have been sent off for a challenge in the second half.
“I think had Anthony Taylor shown Fabinho a red card in that situation, it wouldn’t have been reviewed, it would have stayed a red card. You could say that Fabinho was perhaps lucky to only see a yellow card and not a red,” said Halsey.
The Fabinho challenge was a difficult one for the officials as it was not a clear and obvious error. The VAR officials stuck with the on-field decision from the referee, but Halsey believes it could have easily gone the other way.
“If you look at City’s second goal, Jesus, I think it’s an excellent decision by the assistant referee to keep his flag down,” added Halsey.
Jesus stayed onside by a matter of inches to finish well after an excellent ball from Joao Cancelo, and there should be no questions asked of the officials for that one, as Halsey confirms.
“Sterling’s disallowed goal, clearly offside. You can’t argue about that. Offside is a matter of fact and it’s a fairly easy decision,” said Halsey.
Overall, Halsey believed Anthony Taylor handled the game well, saying: “Anthony has come off that game, and nobody is talking about him.”
If the referee is the talking point of a game, rather than the players, it’s rarely due to positive reviews, but heavy criticism instead. The conversation following the game is centred around the excellent football on display, rather than the referee, which is a compliment to Taylor’s performance in the middle.