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Dermot Gallagher’s comments call into question Anthony Taylor’s integrity vs Liverpool

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By Siddharth Juyal

The defence from Dermot Gallagher for Anthony Taylor that stopped Liverpool from scoring the winner raises more questions about integrity

Dermot Gallagher made a weird statement to defend Anthony Taylor over the howler that stopped Liverpool from scoring the winner. Gallagher’s statement only raises questions about the integrity of officials as another blatant decision cost Liverpool more points.

Liverpool fans and experts associated with the club rightly direct their focus on the poor form, which has proven costly. The Reds are out of the Premier League title race after a series of bad results in recent games when the title race had no margin for error.

Nevertheless, many wonder about the influence of referees throughout this season that has damaged the title aspiration for the Reds. Many Premier League title-winning teams go through bad phases and yet grind out three points during their pursuit.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Referee Anthony Taylor gestures as he talks with Alphonse Areola of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool FC at London Stadium on April 27, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Referee Anthony Taylor stopped Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo from scoring the winner while citing treatment for West Ham United goalkeeper Alphonse Areola as the reason even after letting the game continue. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

However, the match officials have taken any chance that Liverpool could have in many games regardless of their form. The Reds have four draws and a loss this season which involved a major game-changing decision going against them.

Speaking on the Ref Watch (h/t Sky Sports), former referee Gallagher once again defended the indefensible for his friends. He said:

“He’s dug himself out well by seeing Gakpo’s closing in and the player needs treatment, but one wonders if it had gone in the net.

The baffling statement pinpoints the importance of digging out of the genuinely wrong decision by making things subjective. The answer from Gallagher only raises more questions about the officials and their constant influence in the game.

Many of these decisions are straightforward until they become controversial and up for debate. Referees deserve respect, but they must uphold fairness in the game, facing accountability for their bad decisions.

Liverpool drew against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and Manchester United at Anfield in the games involving handball penalty decisions. The officials have given similar decisions consistently to other teams but failed to do so in favour of certain clubs.

While fans and pundits often expect that poor decisions even out over a season, Liverpool has experienced a disproportionate share of disappointment. The Reds also dropped four points against their title rivals Arsenal and Manchester City at Anfield this season.

Against Arsenal, Martin Odegaard’s blatant handball inside the penalty to manipulate the trajectory took the stage. Meanwhile, Man City’s Jeremy Doku planted his foot inside Alexis Mac Allister’s chest in a high-boot tackle with no consequences.

The Reds lost the away game against Tottenham Hotspur, involving two red cards and a legal goal from Liverpool disallowed. Referees have faced the Curtis Jones red card incident several times this season in other games, showing a lack of consequences and consistency.

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Even against West Ham, Lucas Paqueta stomped Alexis Mac Allister in a tackle that is much worse than the one Jones committed. Taylor and the VAR deemed the challenge “boot on boot”, letting Paqueta off with not even a warning.

Liverpool have genuine grievances which currently no one desires to address due to their poor form. The Reds have faced three challengers for the Premier League title this season, the dominant Man City, Arsenal and PGMOL. Nevertheless, broadcasters should remove individuals like Gallagher from television, as they are just as culpable as anyone else.