Referee at centre of Man City & Haaland storm in charge for Sheff Utd vs. Liverpool

The man in charge for Man City‘s dramatic 3-3 draw with Tottenham will take charge of Liverpool’s upcoming trip to Sheffield United in the Premier League.

Simon Hooper was embroiled in a feisty affair at the Etihad on Sunday, in which he controversially called advantage for a foul on striker Erling Haaland before pulling play back with Jack Grealish through on goal.

It was a decision which infuriated Man City, with Haaland in particular showing his disgust and remonstrating with the official after the final whistle.

The Norweigan didn’t stop there, however, later taking to social media to amplify his frustration with a message that simply read: “Wtf.”

Pep Guardiola opted instead to hit out at fourth official Anthony Taylor after the contest, sarcastically describing him as “the master of commander” who “knows everything in this business” in an interview with Sky Sports.

The result was a boost to Liverpool, who have now leapfrogged Man City into second place in the Premier League and sit just two points behind leaders Arsenal.

Hooper was last in charge of the Reds for the contentious 2-1 defeat away at Tottenham, in which Luis Diaz was denied a legitimate goal on the stroke of half time due to a VAR communication error.

While that particular mistake was later shown to predominantly be the fault of VAR Darren England, Hooper made a series of other strange decisions throughout the encounter that left Liverpool fans feeling bewildered.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Referee Simon Hooper views a video before canceling a yellow card for Liverpool's Curtis Jones and turning it into a red card during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The spotlight will certainly be on him at Bramhall Lane, where the Reds will be looking to follow up their dramatic 4-3 comeback victory over Fulham with three more points to keep pressure on those at the top.

Those teams include Pep Guardiola’s side, who were left aggrieved by dropping points at home to Tottenham to go three games without a league win for the first time in 2017.

It leaves them a point behind Liverpool in the table, with the Reds looking well-placed to mount a serious title charge between now and May.