Premier League official Martin Atkinson will referee Liverpool’s clash with Everton at Goodison Park next Monday – and many supporters have reacted on Twitter.
The 48-year-old has a notoriously well-documented history with Liverpool following a number of controversial decisions including the failure to spot a foul on Divock Origi in the build-up to Manchester United’s opener in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Atkinson was on officiating duty when Origi was hacked down by Victor Lindelof in the build-up play to United’s goal but allowed play to commence before Daniel James assisted Marcus Rashford to score.
The Yorkshire-born official then two weeks later was on the scene of further controversy against Liverpool after a perfectly legal goal from Roberto Firmino was chalked off by Atkinson who was in the VAR headquarters during the 2-1 victory at Aston Villa in November.
He is just as unpopular amongst the Everton fan base after he infuriated Evertonians in October 2011 when he sent off Jack Rodwell for a challenge on Luis Suarez that was later rescinded during the Blues’ 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.
In the wake of Manchester City’s 2-0 loss to rivals Manchester United at the weekend, Liverpool mathematically require just two wins from their final nine league games to be crowned champions of England for the first time since 1990.
However, if City do not acquire at least four points from their upcoming fixtures against Arsenal at Burnley then Liverpool can win the Premier League with victory at Goodison Park next Monday.
In the six matches that have been officiated by Atkinson, Liverpool have won three and have drawn three. Everton are winless in each match the English official has overseen.
Following the news, some Liverpool and Everton supporters have taken to Twitter to showcase their frustration following the decision to put Atkinson in place for the latest instalment of the Merseyside derby next week.
— Ben Rawson (@benjiraws) March 10, 2020
Martin Atkinson's derby record:
LIV 1-0 EVE, Feb 2010 (1 red each)
EVE 0-2 LIV, Oct 2011 (sent Rodwell off)
LIV 4-0 EVE, Jan 2014
LIV 1-1 EVE, Sep 2014
EVE 1-1 LIV, Oct 2015
EVE 0-0 LIV, Mar 2019
— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) March 10, 2020
Was also referee during the disastrous game against Spurs this season.
— Luke Haughton (@SebbyHaughtonf1) March 10, 2020
It's not April 1st already is it ??? ☹️
— Dennis The Doodle (@dennisthedoodle) March 10, 2020
— Unbearably Six (@SyedR_LFC) March 10, 2020
Manchester City's last hope
— – (@LFCShaikh) March 10, 2020
Guess we're not winning the league at goodison then
— HardySZN (@Hardy_SZN) March 10, 2020
They just don't want us to win isn't it.
— The Scouse Foodie (@SalilG_LFC) March 10, 2020