The match officials for Liverpool’s all-important title clash with Man City on April 10 have been confirmed, with fans furious at the appointments for ref and VAR.
The Reds head to the Etihad on Sunday looking to take a huge advantage in their pursuit of the Premier League title, with only a point separating them and City.
Having closed a gap that was, at one stage, as wide as 14 points, Liverpool are still in with a chance of sealing a quadruple this season, with hopes of more silverware in the league, Champions League and FA Cup.
City and Liverpool are, undoubtedly, the two best sides in England, and as such, the highest standard of officiating is required this weekend.
Unfortunately, many supporters have been left frustrated after the Premier League confirmed Manchester-born duo Anthony Taylor and Paul Tierney will be referee and VAR respectively.
Andre Marriner will be fourth official, with Gary Beswick and Andy Nunn linesmen, while Timothy Wood will support Tierney in the VAR booth.
Tierney has become hugely unpopular with Liverpool fans, along with Jurgen Klopp himself, who told him “I have no problems with any referees, only you,” after an abysmal showing in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham in December.
Taking to social media in reaction, supporters have widely criticised the appointments…
Manchester’s Anthony Taylor will officiate Man City v Liverpool on Sunday.
Manchester’s Paul Tierney is on VAR.
— LFC Mumble (@lfcmumble) April 5, 2022
Greater Manchester’s Anthony Taylor yet again taking charge of a Liverpool game against a Manchester club, in Manchester. With Greater Manchester’s Paul Tierney on VAR duty.
— Biggies Malls 2.0 (@Biggies_MaIIs) April 5, 2022
Man City v Liverpool
Potential title decider…
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Paul Tierney pic.twitter.com/Zgp8NOCxcN
— Ross (@rossic89) April 5, 2022
Biggest game of the season against Man City, and they decide to appoint Anthony Taylor who lives in Manchester as the referee, and Paul Tierney who lives in Greater Manchester for VAR.
How incompetent must you be @FA_PGMOL?
— Samuel (@SamueILFC) April 5, 2022
Anthony Taylor with Paul Tierney on VAR………
— Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3) April 5, 2022
Manchester born Anthony Taylor is the referee for the Man City vs Liverpool game.
Paul Tierney on VAR, the fella Jurgen Klopp absolutely hates ?
— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) April 5, 2022
I know managers can’t decide who takes charge of matches, but after all that has gone on (Everton v Man City penalty last month as well), appointing Paul Tierney as VAR for Man City v Liverpool on Sunday seems bizarre ? #LFC #MCFC pic.twitter.com/8854KgKPU5
— Kevin Palmer (@RealKevinPalmer) April 5, 2022
PGMOL assigning Paul Tierney to VAR in the biggest game of the season after all the controversies with his involvement in LFC matches, and Klopp saying he is the only referee he has issues with, is an absolute joke. When incompetence has no consequence it only gains confidence.
— Red (@TaintlessRed) April 5, 2022
when you remember Paul Tierney was in charge of all these poor decisions pic.twitter.com/CAnB3z0IV1
— Jürgen (@Jurgegenpress) April 5, 2022
Anthony Taylor (Kompany no red card) and Paul Tierney on VAR (Kane no red card) for Liverpool vs City.
“Honestly, I have no problem with any referees, only you. You don't give us this penalty – you have never played football” Klopp to Tierney pic.twitter.com/PFOBKOoIFk
— Parted Beard (@PartedBeard) April 5, 2022
Anthony Taylor and Paul Tierney? Are you fucking kidding me?
Task was hard enough as it was. Now it's close to impossible with these imbeciles officiating.
Guaranteed a big decision will be missed for us or handed to City.
— GaGs (@GagsTandon) April 5, 2022
Paul Tierney should not referee a Sunday league match, nevermind VAR duty for LFC vs Man City. Disgrace.
— Moby (@Mobyhaque1) April 5, 2022
I cannot believe Anthony Taylor's appointment for Sunday's game. The authorities are incompetent at times, but this is impressive even by their standards.
Could be anyone other than him, given his roots.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) April 5, 2022
Man City are already +2 points based on Paul Tierney’s mistake not to award Everton a clear last-minute penalty.
Now he gets to have another go… in the title decider.
— Ben D'Arcy (@ben_darcy) April 5, 2022
Michael Oliver couldn’t officiate the City-Liverpool game. He’s too busy with Norwich-Burnley, that same day. Much better to have Anthony Taylor—of Greater Manchester. Andre Marriner couldn’t be the VAR, either. He’s the 4th official; Paul Tierney—of Greater Manchester—is better.
— ?????? (@P_Lazaridis) April 5, 2022
The Premier League has announced that Anthony Taylor will referee Man City v Liverpool, with Paul Tierney on VAR duty.
The PL also confirmed that the Gallagher brothers will be the linesmen for the game, with Chesney from Coronation Street as fourth official.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) April 5, 2022
In reality, there could have been controversy in any appointment for such a high-profile game, such is the partisan nature of supporting a football club – and, it must be said, the shocking standard of refereeing throughout the Premier League.
But it is certainly questionable whether Taylor and in particular Tierney should be involved in such a tie, not only due to their ties to Greater Manchester, but also performances this season.
Tierney was involved in the staggering call not to award Everton a penalty for Rodri’s handball in their 1-0 loss to City in February – though VAR Chris Kavanagh was largely at fault that day.