Man United 2 Liverpool 1 – Craig Pawson

This was a great game of football and credit to the players for the way they conducted themselves in the game. It’s always one of the most difficult games to referee in the league because of the rivalry between fans and players, and I’ve done it myself so I know from experience how tough it can be.

Now whilst I’ve been critical of Craig in the past I thought he did very well and managed the game as well as he could have. He set his tolerance levels fairly high by allowing physical challenges, which you have to do at the highest level.

He wasn’t fussy in his decision making and was consistent in picking up all the small fouls he needed to so the players didn’t get frustrated with his decision making and take the law into their own hands.

When the tempo of the game went up, so did Craig’s and he managed to slow the game down when he needed to. I’d only say his positioning and movement needs to improve and I’d like to see him add more dynamic sprinting to enhance his performance.

Regarding the Sadio Mane foul in the penalty area by Marouane Fellaini, when I saw that initially it didn’t even cross my mind to give a penalty, if anything I thought it could have been a foul to Man United. When you see the replay, although there’s a coming together, I’m still of the opinion that it’s not a nailed on penalty and I support Craig in his decision.

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