Referee Anthony Taylor blasted for “very messy” error in stopping Cody Gakpo goal

Referee Anthony Taylor was “trying to rectify the mistake that he had made” as he blew to stop Cody Gakpo from scoring into an empty net against West Ham.

That is according to Alan Shearer, who analysed the bizarre situation in which Taylor halted Gakpo when bearing down on goal under claims of advantage to goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

“It’s very messy,” Shearer argued on Match of the Day.

“I think the referee’s made the error of not blowing. When the goalkeeper’s collided with the post, that’s when the referee should have stopped play and blown the whistle.

“He hasn’t blown the whistle which is an error.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 27, 2024: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo (2nd from L) with West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (L) and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola (R) and referee Anthony Taylor during the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The referee calls the physios and the doctors on, they’re not even ready! They don’t even think he’s injured, he’s not injured.

“He’s trying to rectify the mistake that he’s made.”

Alongside Shearer in the studio, Gary Lineker joked that Taylor was “telling the goalkeeper ‘you’ve got to go down to save my bacon!’,” while Ian Wright labelled it a “massive howler.”

Areola collected a high ball under no contact from Gakpo, with the referee then waving play on and even repeatedly signalling for the Frenchman to get up.

When the goalkeeper stands up, Taylor returned to the centre circle and urged play to continue, with Areola then rolling the ball out and Gakpo, rightly, charging it down for a simple finish.

“The referee’s had an absolute nightmare,” Wright said.

“The referee’s running off and saying to play on, he’s stopped and he actually tells the goalkeeper to get up, ‘come on, let’s get on with it’.

“He says it a couple of times and then he finally gets up, then [Taylor] runs off.

“He says ‘play’, but now he’s turned his back to it [and] I think Gakpo should have just went and finished it.”

But Taylor blew his whistle before Gakpo touched the ball – which would have negated any VAR intervention had, as many have suggested, the striker simply scored first and worried later.

Then, the referee approached Areola and called for physios to enter the pitch for treatment, with close-up footage even seemingly showing him telling the player to go down.

The explanation that Taylor had given West Ham an advantage and that was still in play as Areola rolled the ball out makes little sense.

Put simply, it is another major refereeing error in a season of countless errors, many of which have directly impacted results for Liverpool.