Liverpool FC News

Former referee calls Liverpool controversy at Forest a ‘red herring’

Former Premier League referee Dermott Gallagher believes Paul Tierney’s error in the build-up to Liverpool’s late winner against Nottingham Forest was nothing more than a ‘red herring’.

During the crucial final moments in the game, Forest were in a dangerous position when Paul Tierney paused play for a head injury to Ibrahima Konate.

Upon Konate’s recovery, Tierney decided that Reds keeper Caoimhin Kelleher should restart the game with an uncontested drop ball – despite the fact it was the home side that were in possession of the ball when the whistle was blown.

From that, Liverpool went up the other end to score a dramatic 99th minute winner, with Darwin Nunez heading home to send the City Ground away end into bedlam.

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Many have expressed their outrage at the shoddy officiating from Tierney, feeling Forest have been robbed of a potentially vital point in the context of the battle for Premier League survival.

However, Gallagher argues that too much is being made of the incident, given how much football was actually played between the decision and Nunez’s goal.

Gallagher told Premier League Productions: “Kelleher hits Konate and if you watch the referee, this is when the referee is whistling. He whistled when Hudson-Odoi had the ball.

“Now, the law states, if he had stopped it when Konate got hit by Kelleher, the ball would have to be dropped in the penalty area and it would be dropped to Kelleher. Not a problem.

“But the ball has been cleared from the box, Paul Tierney hadn’t whistled and he should give the ball back to Hudson-Odoi, who would then have the ball uncontested. He didn’t do it, for whatever reason, Paul Tierney didn’t do that.

“All it is, it’s an incorrect restart in law. The fact that Liverpool scored is a bit of a red herring myself because it was 1 minute 50 seconds, which is an eternity on the pitch.

“The ball comes forward, it goes back, goes forward, and even goes out for a throw-in. It’s just an incorrect restart in law, for me, it doesn’t directly attribute to a goal.”

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