Anthony Taylor (from Manchester) appointed Man City vs Liverpool referee
Liverpool face Manchester City at the Etihad on Thursday evening, a top of the table clash between two sides who are vying for Premier League glory.
The man chosen to officiate, Anthony Taylor, hails from Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester.
Suffice to say, Liverpool fans are none too pleased…
Reaction: ‘No words'
Anthony Taylor from Manchester will ref Man City v LFC . No words .
— Billy Campbell (@BillyCampbell_1) December 31, 2018
One Liverpool fan claimed Taylor refereed two of his club's games against opposition from Manchester last season in the Premier League (something which is patently not true).
How often has Manc Anthony Taylor refereed one of our games against one of the Manchester clubs? It was twice out of 4 league games last season, 1 the season before, twice the season before that. How? #LFC
— TD (@DyerThomas) December 31, 2018
Google Maps was even wheeled out to show the proximity of Taylor's birthplace to both Manchester football stadiums.
Anthony Taylor will referee Manchester City Vs Liverpool next Thursday.
Taylor is from Wythenshawe, Manchester. This map shows how close Man City's ground is to where Taylor's from, just 7 miles away. [From @googlemaps]
How he's been given this game to referee is staggering. pic.twitter.com/IdbO35nX8i
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) December 31, 2018
Taylor's birthplace will no doubt be a talking point on Twitter post-match, should there be any debatable high-profile decisions made.
Manchester born Anthony Taylor will referee Liverpool's game at Manchester City's Etihad stadium. The Premier League are also considering naming Ricky Hatton & Noel Gallagher as linesman, with the ghost of Bernard Manning as 4th Official.#ManCity
— Nicky Allt (@NickyAllt) December 31, 2018
The reality: No cause for concern
Since 2011, Taylor has reffed just two Premier League games including both Liverpool and a club from Manchester. The fixtures have finished as follows: Man City 2-2 Liverpool and Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United.
One Liverpool fan pointed out that Liverpool were yet to suffer a defeat under Taylor's officiating against Manchester clubs.
we have never lost in the league against a Manchester club when Taylor was the ref (never won either mind)
— Moley (@Moley_LFC) December 31, 2018
There is no evidence to suggest Liverpool have been hard done by when Taylor has been in charge of the whistle. This season, for example, he watched over their 4-0 thrashing of West Ham.
Liverpool PL games that Anthony Taylor has officiated since 2016-17
Draw: Liverpool 0-0 Man United – October 17th 2016
Win: Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland – November 26th 2016
Draw: Sunderland 2-2 Liverpool – Jan 2nd 2017
Win: Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham – February 11th 2017
Win: Liverpool 3-1 Everton – April 1st 2017
Draw: Watford 3-3 Liverpool – August 12th 2017
Win: Leicester 2-3 Liverpool – September 23rd 2017
Win: Liverpool 5-0 Watford – 17th March 2018
Loss: Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool – 6th May 2018
Win: Liverpool 4-0 West Ham – August 12th 2018
Taylor has, however, been criticised recently for his refereeing performance during Sheffield United's 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers in the Championship.
All I can say is that if Anthony Taylor referees City v Liverpool, in anywhere near the same fashion as he did Sheffield United v Blackburn, then he is going to ruin what could/should be the game of the season.
— Simon James (@simonjamess) December 31, 2018
The Cheshire-born official controversially dished out an early red card to Blades defender Chris Basham for two yellow card offences, before having little choice but to dismiss Blackburn's Richie Smallwood for a bad challenge in the second half.
The FA obviously didn't refer to Anthony Taylor's performance at the weekend when choosing a ref for the biggest game of the season. #terriblechoice #anthonytaylor
— Karl Roberts (@i3lade4life) December 31, 2018
A referee's job is hard enough at the best of times. After the reaction to his appointment this week, Taylor might face more criticism than usual both in-game and post-match when Liverpool take on Man City.
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