A closer look at Tierney and Taylor, the two men who could decide the Premier League title race

On Tuesday, the clash was made a little more racy with the announcement that Anthony Taylor and Paul Tierney, two Greater Manchester men, will take on the roles of on-field referee and VAR, respectively.

Planet Sport takes a look at each of their previous records, as well as what the tie has yielded in the past, as we look forward to Sunday’s blockbuster.

The referee on the field: Anthony Taylor

Taylor was born in Wythenshawe and has been a Premier League referee since 2010. He has taken charge of 47 games for the Reds during those 12 years, and the Merseysiders have won 27, drawn 11 and lost nine of those games.

He has sent off two Liverpool players in those 47 games, and only one of them was straight red. German midfielder Emre Can received his marching orders in a 4-1 loss to Arsenal in 2015, while Brazilian goalkeeper Alexander Doni was sent off in a 3-2 win over Blackburn three years before that.

By comparison, he has refereed 31 City matches, handing out three red cards, two of which came in the same game. He sacked both Argentine striker Sergio Aguero and Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho in added time of a 3-1 loss to Chelsea in 2016, before sending off England midfielder Fabian Delph in a 1-0 fifth-round defeat of the FA Cup against Wigan Athletic in 2018.

In addition, Taylor has awarded Liverpool 11 penalties in his career, the most of any team he has officiated, and has given City just five. Even allowing for the difference in matches, it’s still 0.234 penalties per game for Liverpool and, in a vaguely interesting quirk, given the city’s telephone area code, 0.161 penalties per game for Manchester City.

This season he has officiated 22 Premier League matches as a field referee, handing out 81 yellow cards and four red cards.

The VAR: Paul Tierney

Jurgen Klopp Paul Tierney Liverpook anger Dec21

Tierney is two years Taylor’s junior at 41, and hails from Wigan, just inside Greater Manchester and 27 miles northwest of Taylor’s birthplace.

As a field referee, he has taken charge of 18 Liverpool games during his career and has seen the Reds win ten of them, as well as draw six and lose two.

As VAR, he has directed seven games for Jurgen Klopp’s men, of which he has won five and tied the other two.

As far as City is concerned, he has refereed 21 games as a field man, of which he won 18, drew one and lost two.

As an all-seeing VAR, he has been part of the refereeing team for six City games, winning four and drawing two.

Sunday’s game, of course, could end all level, but Tierney may be about to see City or Liverpool lose from the VAR room for the first time.

He has never sacked a City player as a field referee, compared to a Liverpool player. That was Andy Robertson in the last Reds game he took charge of, a 2-2 draw with Tottenham in December, and there was plenty of controversy over his decision not to also sack Harry Kane from Spurs for an equally bad tackle. Klopp was picked up by telling him after full time that he “has no problem with other referees, only with you”. Spicy.

Man City v Liverpool

Anthony Taylor Pep Guardiola January 19

While this matchup has always had an air of rivalry, given the two cities’ pasts, it’s only recently taken on the sort of title-crushing importance we associate it with.

Taylor has previously officiated the clash on three occasions, with City winning two and the other ending in a draw. The last time he took charge of this fixture was when Pep Guardiola’s men won 4-0 in July 2020, following City’s 2-1 win at the Etihad in 2019 and a 2-2 draw in 2013. .

Tierney took charge of the reverse match this season, a 2-2 draw at Anfield, and was also previously the VAR for the 1-1 league draw at the Etihad between the teams in 2020. That is, however, his only previous experience of this particular accessory.

He also has previous experience of Manchester and Liverpool clashes, having taken charge of the last two Premier League meetings between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford.

The Merseyside club picked up comfortable 5-0 wins this season to back up a 4-2 victory at the start of 2021.

The most notable previous moment of controversy in this clash came in a 2019 encounter at Anfield which Liverpool won 3-1. City were aggrieved that just before Fabinho scored Liverpool’s first goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold got away with what looked like a neat handball. Guardiola was left shouting ‘twice!’ in the Merseyside sky when the Reds won the title that year.

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