Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has confirmed Liverpool v. Manchester United official Paul Tierney should have allowed Sadio Mane’s counter-attack last night.
Instead, the Wigan-born ref called for half-time with six seconds of the additional one minute added on left to play.
This would normally be insignificant, but the whistle was blown just as Xherdan Shaqiri played a through ball to Mane, who looked like he may have found a pocket of space.
Within the six seconds, the Senegal forward could have put the ball in the back of the net – and that’s no exaggeration.
Speaking after the game, Clattenburg commented on Tierney’s “very good” performance in the biggest fixture of the Premier League season.
“Paul Tierney should have let Sadio Mane get his chance in front of goal at the end of the first half [45+1′]… but he still had a very good game at Anfield,” he told the Daily Mail.
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“Technically, Tierney should have waited until the minimum of one minute had been played. He was helped by the fact Mane and United defender Victor Lindelof then stopped playing, so we do not know what would have happened next… But he was very good.”
Given Clattenburg’s comments on the favourable treatment United received during Sir Alex Ferguson’s era, we expected a near-flawless performance from match officials.
To then see Tierney call half-time before the minimum of one added minute was up was absolutely shocking.
We’ll never know what could have happened at the death of the first-half, with those extra handful of seconds now lost to the ether.
To be honest, we at Empire of the Kop can’t understand why this blunder has gone under the radar – it’s a shame Mane didn’t try to control the through ball, he could have shown how good of an opportunity he was robbed of!