It was the two-minute interval that threatened to form this season’s Premier League title race.
Anfield. Liverpool v Manchester Metropolis. The champions of the previous 4 seasons, separated by simply 11mm in 2018-19 and one level thus far on this marketing campaign. The rating is 1-1.
James Milner – filling in at right-back instead of the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold – is already on a yellow card when he sticks a leg out and takes down a charging Bernardo Silva within the 74th minute.
Most anticipated referee Paul Tierney to achieve for his pocket once more to e book the stand-in Reds full-back and comply with that with a pink, handing the guests a one-man benefit.
As a substitute, Tierney blows his whistle, awards the foul, speaks to Milner… however reveals no card.
Metropolis boss Pep Guardiola rages on the touchline, remonstrating with fourth official Mike Dean earlier than animatedly eradicating his jacket.
Seconds later, Mohamed Salah rubs salt into the Spaniard’s wounds, one way or the other weaving round a collection of challenges within the Metropolis field earlier than slotting in one of many nice Premier League objectives.
And to actually cap issues off for Guardiola, Tierney decides he has had sufficient of the Metropolis boss’ protestations… and reveals him a yellow card.
Kevin de Bruyne eased a few of his supervisor’s angst with a deserved equaliser, however the incident involving Milner was nonetheless on Guardiola’s thoughts after the ultimate whistle had blown on an exciting contest.
“It is a yellow card. It is a yellow card. It is clear,” Guardiola informed Sky Sports activities.
“Nevertheless it’s Anfield, it is Outdated Trafford. In our state of affairs a Metropolis participant is distributed off. It is clear. It was a second yellow.
He continued alongside the identical strains when talking to BBC Radio 5 Reside.
“It was a yellow card, it was too apparent,” he continued. “I do know for referees it’s not straightforward at Anfield and Outdated Trafford – there may be a whole lot of strain for everybody.
“Soccer is about feelings however it’s apparent it’s a yellow card.”
After which lastly, in his post-match press convention, he expanded on the significance of the second.
“He has to indicate the yellow card to me [for remonstrating] however earlier than he has to indicate the second [to Milner],” he added.
“In these video games, so tight… he has to. It does not imply you’ll win in opposition to Liverpool in Anfield however it’s apparent, [he needed] to offer James the second yellow.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp took a leaf out of Arsene Wenger’s e book when requested in regards to the incident.
“Pep obtained somewhat bit outraged over that,” he informed Sky Sports activities. “I did not see however I noticed Pep’s response clearly. I did not know precisely why he did that.
“Milly [Milner] did extremely nicely first half and it’s not straightforward to defend these guys.”
Guardiola could possibly be seen gesturing in direction of Liverpool followers after the Milner incident as they revelled in his displeasure.
‘The usual of officiating retains getting worse’ – what you mentioned…
Specs: Man Metropolis followers will rightly be livid after this sport. How Milner has stayed on is loopy. Nothing these refs can say will make sense. We’ve the more serious officers in Europe.
Andrew Mitchell: Pep has each proper to be raging there. Milner’s foul was as cynical because it will get, ought to clearly have been a second yellow. File this squarely below “the ref has bottled that.”
Alex Haworth: A referee bottles a second yellow in just about each sport I see.
Seth Gogo Egoeh: The usual of officiating retains getting worse! How did Milner escape a second reserving there? That is unimaginable! Are these the very best referees EPL can provide? Pathetic!
Ed O’Toole: It was by no means a yellow card. Milner deflected the ball together with his left foot and an unbalanced Silva having been nudged by Henderson fell over Milner’s outstretched leg. However Milner kicked the ball first!