Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Alan Green: Ref justice on Everton from Atkinson

Liverpool might well have won the Merseyside derby anyway; they’re a better side than Everton and have in Luis Suarez one of the best players you’ll see in English football at the moment.

However, I understand the rank injustice felt by Evertonians after what happened.

I worried when they chose Martin Atkinson as referee for a fixture that’s had more players sent off than any other in the history of the Premier League. After all, Atkinson has history of his own. He produced more red cards than any other referee last season and leads the way in this campaign.

Jack Rodwell’s tackle on Suarez wasn’t even a foul and Atkinson had an unobstructed view of it. It was a shocking decision that gave Liverpool an advantage for three-quarters of the game.

Two things to say: there were far worse challenges — Fellaini, Hibbert — that went unpunished by Atkinson and, more worrying still, there are other referees officiating at the highest level in England who are far worse than he is.

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