By Keith Hackett

10th Jan, 2022 | 12:42pm

Ex-Premier League referee hails 'terrific' decision as controversial Jesus emerges from Man City

Keith Hackett has heaped praise on referee Darren England for his performance as Man City beat Swindon Town 4-1 on Friday (7 January).

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed Man City benefited from the “terrific decision” to award them a penalty.

As shown on the BBC’s highlights, England pointed to the spot when Jordan Lyden planted his studs on Gabriel Jesus’ shin after he skipped past his opponent.

The Premier League champions were already winning 3-0 at the time and Jesus missed the resulting penalty.

Harry McKirdy then scored for the hosts before Cole Palmer finished the scoring as the games finished 4-1.

“I think Darren England is having a terrific season,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“He’s in my top five for referees this season. In a straw poll of other referees, he’s effectively in fourth position.

“This guy gets around the field of play brilliantly, gets into viewing positions, has got great courage. He’s a breath of fresh air and just what the PGMOL require.

“On the penalty decision, he was there, he got it. You never know whether the assistant fed it to him and said ‘That’s a penalty’.

“The thing is, it’s a great spot and a terrific piece of refereeing. He’s spot on.”

Man City will host Championship side Fulham in the FA Cup fourth round.

Pep Guardiola has won the competition once as City boss in the 2018-19 season.

In other news, Kieran Maguire has dropped his verdict on Man City breaking Premier League rules after a commercial deal reveal.