Referee Paul Tierney "bottled" Man City penalty decision due to Liverpool fear

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Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara has called out referee Paul Tierney for his decisions in the Liverpool against Manchester City match.

The two title-challenging sides drew 2-2 in a match full of great goals and huge moments of controversy.

Reds striker Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the 59th minute before Phil Foden levelled things up ten things later when he was left unmarked by makeshift right-back James Milner and fired past Alisson.

Mohamed Salah then put Jurgen Klopp’s side back in front in the 76th minute with a sensational solo goal, before Kevin de Bruyne swept home a Foden cut-back to make sure the points were shared.

But those latter two goals came after the most controversial moment of the match.

England veteran Milner was run ragged by Foden and picked up a yellow card in the first half, yet Klopp persisted with the midfielder-turned-defender in the second 45.

Bernardo Silva then dribbled down the left wing and was clumsily brought down by the 35-year-old in a foul which, arguably, should’ve seen him dismissed. Tierney gave a foul with no repercussions.

Should James Milner have been sent off for two bookable offences? Have your say in the comments below.

The incident is seen as a turning point in the match and O’Hara had his say on the matter on talkSPORT.

“It’s a red. He’s got to go," he said.

“It’s stonewall and I can’t believe the ref hasn’t given it. The ref has bottled it, we know that.

“At Anfield, the crowd, big moment, on TV, everyone watching – I don’t know what’s going through his head.

“There are some fouls where you can say ‘I will give you one more chance and I will let this one go’.

“But that was a yellow. You have to go and give him a booking and have to send him off.”

Pep Guardiola was understandably furious as he berated the fourth official and stormed onto the field to question Tierney’s decision.

Former Wolves midfielder O’Hara continued: “You can see why Pep is so angry. He absolutely lost it because you talk about the way decisions go at Anfield, Old Trafford and go back to Fergie time. There is an argument for it.

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“You saw it with the Reece James moment where he got sent off [in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Anfield in August]. Everybody was ready to enjoy that game and he got sent off and it killed the spectacle.

“We understand that and all want to watch a great game, but at the end of the day, Milner is in the wrong. It was two bookable offences and should have been sent off for it, regardless of whether it is a great game or not.”

It is small margins like this that can decide a title race, even if it is so early on, so it remains to be seen just how significant Tierney’s decision will be towards the end of this campaign.

  • Liverpool FC
  • Manchester City FC
  • Premier League

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