Ex-Premier League official: Anthony Taylor should not have refereed Liverpool v Man City as pre-match controversy analysed
Keith Hackett has suggested Anthony Taylor’s performance in Man City’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday (10 April) was affected by the debate over whether the Wysthenshawe-based referee should officiate the game.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed Michael Oliver should have instead been in charge of the crunch title match.
Taylor, 43, was born and raised in south Manchester but is a fan of National League side Altrincham.
The two major controversies in the game came when both Liverpool midfielders Thiago and Fabinho avoided red cards for tough challenges.
“The debate in the days leading up to the game [about whether he should referee the match] means there is a possibility of a subconscious overcompensation,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“I wonder whether that meant he was going to take a lighter touch?
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“Generally he let the game flow and he allowed a fair amount of challenges from both teams.
“I’m a bit old school, when I refereed I wouldn’t have refereed clubs in my proximity.
“That no longer applies now. You get Mike Dean from the Wirral, lives in north Wales, refereeing Liverpool. They’ve tried to overcome it.
“Ultimately at the end of the day, there were only two referees who I would’ve had refereeing this game would be Taylor or Michael Oliver. To be honest with you, I would’ve had Oliver on this game.”
The two sides meet again at Wembley next weekend in the FA Cup semi-final.
Before then, Man City travel to Atletico Madrid for their Champions League quarter-final second leg while Liverpool host Benfica at Anfield.