Liverpool’s 4-3 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday was filled with passion and tension both and off the pitch, but also proved to be the tipping point between Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and Manchester-born Premier League referee, Paul Tierney.
Speaking after the game, Klopp claimed: “We have our history with Mr. Tierney, I really don’t know what this man has with us.”
“They will always say it’s nothing, but it’s not true. How he looks at me, I don’t understand it.”
The game was filled with controversial moments, where both Spurs’ Oliver Skipp and Liverpool’s Diogo Jota could have received a red card for dangerous tackles.
Today, we’re going to look back at some key talking points in relation to Jurgen Klopp’s accusations of Paul Tierney to see just what the Liverpool boss could be referring to in his criticism of the referee.
Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool, 2021
Paul Tierney was at the heart of the controversy when the two sides met back in 2021 as well.
This game in particular left a lot of football fans baffled by some of the decisions made by Paul Tierney.
In the first half, Liverpool forward Diogo Jota was through on goal before being blatantly barged to the floor in the box by Tottenham full-back, Emerson Royal.
Not only Paul Tierney but also the officials in charge of VAR opted against giving a penalty.
In the second half, Spurs striker Harry Kane went flying into a tackle on Andy Robertson recklessly, with both feet above the ball.
A tackle that could’ve easily put the Scotland captain out of action for a long time, went completely unnoticed by the officials.
With Robertson left incensed by the decision, he himself ended up making an extremely rash tackle which saw him instead receive a red card.
In fairness, the isolated decision to send Robertson off was probably correct but would it have happened if Kane didn’t put in that awful challenge on the defender?
Everton 0-1 Manchester City, 2022:
In the heat of Liverpool’s incredible title race with Manchester City, Pep Guardiola’s side traveled to Goodison Park where anything other than three points would open the door for the Reds to the title.
A goal by Phil Foden and an absolutely shambolic decision by Paul Tierney and the other officials were just enough for City to get over the line.
With the score level at 0-0, a loose ball bounced around the Manchester City penalty area where midfielder Rodri carried out perhaps the most obvious handball you will see this year.
Again, not only did Tierney miss the handball but so did VAR, leaving football fans across the country completely at a lost to the pure incompetence of the officials.
Liverpool 0-0 West Brom, 2018:
With Liverpool pushing for Champions League football under Jurgen Klopp, the Reds hosted West Brom at Anfield with Paul Tierney in charge of the game.
Substitute Dominic Solanke bundled the ball home late on in the game, with the ball deflecting off his chest into the back of the net.
However, Tierney disallowed the late winner for an apparent handball much to the confusion of every spectator in the stadium.
At the end of the game, Klopp stormed onto the pitch to confront the referee but as always didn’t seem to receive any form of explanation.
Obviously, there are some issues between the two behind the scenes, but Klopp must have reason to believe that Tierney has an agenda against his side.
In this article, we have looked at just a few examples of shocking decisions from Tierney but it’s also key to note that a lot of supporters of other Premier League clubs have been vocal about their disapproval of the referee’s ability.
I don’t expect to see Paul Tierney officiating a Liverpool game any time soon, it might be wise for the FA to keep the pair away from each other for a little while.