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Referee for Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace involved in opening-day controversy

Paul Tierney has been confirmed as the referee for Liverpool’s clash with Crystal Palace, the day after his strange decision in Man United vs. Brighton.

With the Premier League back, it goes without saying that dodgy officiating has also returned.

It is a new-look group of referees for the new campaign, too, with Mike Dean, Jonathan Moss, Martin Atkinson and Kevin Friend having all retired over the summer.

Tierney is now in place as one of the most high-profile officials, and the 41-year-old from Greater Manchester will be in charge for Liverpool’s first home game of the season.

The Premier League confirmed on Monday that Tierney would referee the Reds’ meeting with Palace on August 15, with Andre Marriner as VAR and Craig Pawson as fourth official.

Their announcement comes less than 24 hours after Tierney waved away a clear foul in the penalty area from Man United‘s Lisandro Martinez on Brighton striker Danny Welbeck.

Martinez brought Welbeck down while the Seagulls were 2-0 up, but should have been given an opportunity to make it 3-0 only to see their protests overruled, while a later decision saw Scott McTominay lucky to avoid a second yellow card.

Speaking to Sussex Live after the 2-1 win for Brighton, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey described those two incidents as “clear errors” and insisted “Paul Tierney had a great view of both.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 19, 2021: Referee Paul Tierney during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is not the first time Tierney has courted controversy, of course, as it is, in a way, the nature of the job.

Back in December, he was roundly criticised for his officiating of Liverpool’s 2-2 draw at Tottenham, namely in not sending off Harry Kane before showing Andy Robertson a red card for a similar challenge and not awarding a penalty for Diogo Jota.

In fact, in his explanation of the incident, Tierney effectively accused Jota of drawing the foul – ignoring, of course, that the operative word was ‘foul’.

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