There is no point shying away from it – Liverpool were robbed by Martin Atkinson yesterday. Of course, we didn’t play to our best, but the fact remains that Man United scored a goal that should have been disallowed. The referee has written himself into the bad books of any Kopite that watched the game yesterday thanks to a series of gross errors throughout the game. We take a look at three refereeing errors Martin Atkinson made during Man United v Liverpool.
I mean, come on. What? The ball was fired into the feet of Divock Origi and he was immediately fouled by Victor Lindelof as the Swedish centre back jabbed his studs into Origi’s calf. The Belgian went down and made the most of it, sure. However, no matter how Origi went down, no matter what part of his body he gripped when he hit the floor, it is still a foul. Martin Atkinson clearly doesn’t believe that kicking someone in the leg is a foul, he refused to blow up and seconds later Man United were ahead. VAR of course didn’t overturn the decision as junior refs are terrified of offending their seniors.
Stopping the game for Daniel James
Daniel James is either too soft to be playing football or he lacks any integrity. Earlier this week, the Welsh winger pretended to be knocked unconscious whilst playing for his country – it was really, very weird. We know he pretended as he went on to play the full 90 minutes in the game. On Sunday, he ran into Virgil van Dijk and then slumped to the floor. Liverpool began to counter with the ball won by their Dutch centre half, as they charged into the opposition half – the referee stopped the game for Daniel James. There was no legitimate reason for Martin Atkinson to bring the game back. There was no head injury. The referee stopped the game because the United winger was winded. Liverpool were prevented from countering as a result.
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Letting Rashford just walk on and off
Later on in the second half, Liverpool sought to attack again. The ball was played out to the right and Trent Alexander-Arnold was unexpectedly pressed by Marcus Rashford. Why unexpectedly? Because the United striker had wandered off to consult with his manager before charging back onto the pitch to press Trent. A footballer always needs permission from the referee if they want to leave and reenter the pitch, of course, Martin Atkinson didn’t care – he just wanted to put the cherry on the cake of a woefully incompetent refereeing display.