By Keith Hackett

6th Dec, 2021 | 3:25pm

Ex-Fifa referee heaps praise as under-the-radar Grealish footage emerges from Man City

Keith Hackett has heaped praise on Simon Hooper for allowing a “terrific” advantage in the build-up as Man City scored their second goal in their 4-0 win over Watford.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee suggested Hooper is not rated by the PGMOL but deserves credit for his performance at Vicarage Road.

In the lead up to Bernardo Silva’s goal, Danny Rose fouled Jack Grealish on the halfway line.

The play was allowed to continue as the ball broke to Raheem Sterling before Bernardo finished the move off with a smart finish from a tight angle.

After the ball hit the back of the net Hooper went back to show Rose a yellow card for his foul on Grealish.

“The first thing to recognise is that if you take the top elite referees in the PGMOL group they are now on 10 or 11 games like Michael Oliver, Anthony Taylor and Paul Tierney,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“Hooper was on five games and was looking at being the fourth official in this game. Somewhere along the line Kevin Friend, the appointed referee is not doing the game.

“He’s replacing Friend. He’s obviously not highly regarded by Mike Riley because he’s only had five from 15 games which is not a good number.

“However, his advantage when Danny Rose fouled on the halfway line was terrific. Ok, there was an interchange of play afterwards but it resulted in a goal.

“He then went back to caution Danny Rose. For me, I thought that was a great piece of refereeing and a fantastic advantage. Well done him.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has told chiefs to think ‘very carefully’ after a Man City ‘disaster’.