HomePaul Tierney relegated to VAR duty after Forest vs Liverpool controversy

Paul Tierney relegated to VAR duty after Forest vs Liverpool controversy

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Paul Tierney will not referee in the Premier League’s next gameweek following his controversial decision to award Liverpool possession in the build-up to their winning goal against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Darwin Nunez came off the bench to score a 99th-minute header as Liverpool maintained their position at the top of the Premier League table with a dramatic 1-0 victory at the City Ground.

One minute and 50 seconds before the goal, Forest were infuriated as Tierney awarded Liverpool an uncontested drop-ball after halting the game due to a head injury to Ibrahima Konate, despite Forest having possession when play was stopped.

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Forest’s players surrounded Tierney at the full-time whistle, with coach Steven Reid receiving a red card for his protests and owner Evangelos Marinakis pursuing the officials down the tunnel.

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg – who now works for Forest as a referee analyst – told BBC Radio 5 Live that Tierney made a clear error, saying: “Forest should have had the ball back.

“If the referee stops the game, he has to give the ball back to the team in possession. That was Forest.”

Though the incident did not lead directly to the goal, which came from Alexis Mac Allister’s inswinging cross after a Liverpool corner was cleared, it is one of several influential decisions to go against Forest recently after they were denied penalties against Newcastle United and West Ham.

On Monday, the Premier League released its weekly list of officiating appointments for matchday 28.

Though Tierney will be on VAR duty when Arsenal host Brentford on Saturday, that will be the full extent of his involvement this week.

Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo refused to be drawn on Tierney’s performance after the match, saying: “I will not comment on the referee. Don’t insist. It was a tough week for us because it’s a repeated situation.”

Saturday’s loss leaves Forest four points clear of the relegation zone in 17th, though they could yet face a points deduction as they await the outcome of their charge for breaching the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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