Mark Goldbridge may be a Manchester United supporter, but there’ll be Liverpool fans worldwide nodding in agreement with his take on one massively contentious incident in the Premier League last night.
Manchester City came from behind to beat Everton 3-1, with the goal to give them the lead arriving courtesy of a penalty given against the Toffees for a baffling handball decision involving Amadou Onana.
It came four days after the Reds had a stonewall spot kick denied to them when the officials at Anfield somehow failed to deem Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard guilty of a much clearer handball offence inside the box.
The inconsistency wasn’t lost on Goldbridge, who posted on X at the time of the incident at Goodison Park: “So Odegaard wasn’t a penalty in a title decider when he moved the ball away but City get that. The officiating in this title race this season is a disgrace”.
So Odegaard wasn't a penalty in a title decider when he moved the ball away but City get that. The officiating in this title race this season is a disgrace
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) December 27, 2023
When one of the highest-profile Man United fans in the world is adamant that Liverpool are bearing the brunt of shockingly bad refereeing decisions in the Premier League title race, you know the situation is chronic.
How the officials felt no need to penalise Odegaard for literally scooping the ball away like someone about to hand out a portion of ice cream, yet deemed Onana guilty of handling a shot from close range which struck underneath his arm is mind-boggling, to put it politely.
There’s one common denominator to both incidents – the presence of David Coote on VAR. The same man who had the same role in October 2020 when Jordan Pickford got away scot-free with breaking Virgil van Dijk’s leg, and who disallowed what would’ve been a Jordan Henderson winner for an imaginary offside against Sadio Mane (The Mirror).
In the context of Liverpool being deprived of two legitimate goals against Burnley on Boxing Day, the penalty given to Man City last night serves only to heighten the sense among Reds supporters that something is badly amiss when it comes to officiating.
We won’t go down the road of crying corruption or anything like that, but it’s impossible not to be enraged when looking at some of the decisions made in our matches over the past week and compare it to a huge and controversial call which went in the champions’ favour against Everton.
It’s even taken a Man United supporter to weigh in on our side!