Belfast Telegraph

Howard Webb to officiate Liverpool's clash with Manchester United

By Simon Rice

Referee Howard Webb has been selected to officiate Manchester United's Premier League clash with Liverpool this weekend.

It is the first time the 2010 World Cup final ref will have taken a game involving the pair since their controversial FA Cup meeting in January 2011.

In that match Manchester United were awarded a penalty after Dimitar Berbatov fell under a challenge from Daniel Agger. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was then sent off for a two footed tackle on Michael Carrick in what was an eventful first half. The match ended 1-0.

In the hours following the game, then Liverpool forward Ryan Babel tweeted: "And they call him one of the best referees? That's a joke. SMH [shaking my head]."

The Dutchman also retweeted a mocked up picture of Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt.

The FA fined Babel £10,000 as the forward became the first professional footballer to be censured for comments made on Twitter.

Liverpool and United have met five times since that match, with Phil Dowd and Mark Halsey taking two games each and Andre Marriner the other.

There have long been unfounded rumours that Webb is a Manchester United supporter, meaning his selection for this weekend's match is likely to cause a stir among Liverpool fans.

Belfast Telegraph


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