SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

Nightmare referee and VAR duo confirmed for Burnley vs. Liverpool

The officials have been named for Liverpool’s Boxing Day trip to Burnley, with the referee and VAR having history when officiating the Reds.

Hopefully, Liverpool’s match at Turf Moor will go smoothly and the Reds come home with three points and without controversy.

Supporters’ anxiety may have just been raised a notch, though, with the announcement that Paul Tierney will be refereeing and Simon Hooper will be the video assistant referee.

Tierney’s assistants will be Marc Perry and Scott Ledger, while Graham Scott takes the fourth official role. Nick Hopton will be Hooper’s assistant in Stockley Park.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 1, 2021: Referee Paul Tierney during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 239th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. Liverpool won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Tuesday’s referee, Tierney, has taken charge of just one Liverpool game this season after last campaign’s controversial events at Anfield, in the 4-3 vs. Tottenham.

Jurgen Klopp had to serve a one-match touchline ban after that one, but November’s 3-0 win against Brentford was a much smoother affair, for referee and manager alike.

For Hooper on VAR, his run-ins with Liverpool have come more recently. He was the referee for the now infamous Tottenham vs. Liverpool fixture, in which Luis Diaz wrongly had a goal disallowed for offside.

In fairness to Hooper, that particular decision wasn’t really his fault, but there were some several more controversial calls throughout the game, including Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones‘ dismissals.

However, since, Liverpool have made a happier memory with Hooper in charge, beating Sheffield United 2-0 at Bramall Lane, on December 6.

Unfortunately for the referee, a few days earlier he made headlines for a failure to play advantage, as Jack Grealish had a good chance to run through on goal in the last moments of Man City‘s 3-3 draw vs. Tottenham.

PGMOL chief Howard Webb later admitted it was “an officiating mistake.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Referee Simon Hooper is all smiles during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool head into the Boxing Day fixture knowing a win would take them to the top of the Premier League, at least until Arsenal have the chance to regain the lead, against West Ham two days later.

It is fair to say the Reds haven’t really had the rub of the green this campaign, officiating-wise. Against Arsenal on Saturday, Liverpool should have been awarded a penalty for Martin Odegaard’s handball.

Bafflingly, this wasn’t given. After the match, Klopp told Sky Sports: “I’m pretty sure somebody will explain it to me, that it wasn’t a handball. But I don’t know how.

“I don’t say the ref can’t see it, because I have no clue where he was in the moment.

“But when somebody sits in his office, how can he not come to the conclusion it might maybe worth having another look at it?”

Let’s hope we are chatting about the football come Tuesday night.