Gary Neville backs Anthony Taylor after Man City and Liverpool criticism


Gary Neville has a different opinion of Anthony Taylor's mediation during Liverpool's 1-0 win over Manchester City

Jurgen Klopp | Gary Neville | Pep Guardiola
Gary Neville backs referee Anthony Taylor

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola had criticised Anthony Taylor for 'poor officiating' in Liverpool's home win against Manchester City.

City saw their first goal by Phil Foden ruled out for a foul. The Citizens thought they're up front only to allow refree Anthony Taylor to give up the goal for a foul by Erling Haaland on Fabinho after a VAR check.

Mohamed Salah finally changed the game with a sensational solo goal from a superb Alisson pass. But 10 minutes later there was another incident on the touchline as Klopp was furious that the linesman did not wave in the corner after Bernardo Silva fouled Salah.

The Liverpool manager yelled directly in the face of the assistant referee, and Taylor waved a red card. Klopp admitted after the game that he was "not proud" of his actions, but still couldn't understand some of Taylor's decisions during the game.

Guardiola was also overwhelmed, suggesting a lack of consistency from match officials for failing to recognise Foden's goal fouling Haaland on Fabinho. Neville also wondered if Taylor could be consistent by having Foden's goal stand, but ultimately felt the referee handled the game overall.

"It was just a real struggle to watch, real intense - how a big game should be and maybe has been in years gone by," Neville said on Sky Sports. "The way in which the referee approached it I think was really good.

"That was the one thing about the VAR decision when you think about the referee's approach to the game. The VAR official in Stockley Park maybe could say 'well go and have a look at it'.

"I think if Anthony Taylor had been consistent with how he'd actually done it - I should have said this on commentary and not in the studio - I actually thought at the time it was a foul. But Anthony Taylor, the one he let go in the corner with Bernardo [Silva] and Salah - he'd been letting those types of challenges go all game.

"So actually he had an opportunity to remain consistent when he went over to the screen." When asked whether he thought it was different due to the outcome of Haaland's foul on Fabinho, Neville said: "Maybe. But I'm just saying he had the chance to remain consistent with his approach.

"Now I'm not knocking him because I thought today to be fair to him we saw a referee who was really sure and had to be sure to referee the game in that way. We've been calling out for years in this studio - five or six years ago there was a time where pundits including ourselves would say 'we never see challenges anymore, contact is gone in the game'.

"We're now seeing that coming back and I don't think we should to be fair be too critical of Anthony Taylor's approach. I thought it was fantastic and added to this game."

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