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06th Mar 2023

Former Premier League referee says Bruno Fernandes “manhandled” against Liverpool

Callum Boyle

One key incident was highlighted.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes that Bruno Fernandes was “manhandled” in Manchester United’s humiliating defeat on Sunday.

United were beaten 7-0 by their rivals Liverpool on Sunday, with goals from Cody Gakpo, Darwin Núñez, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino condemned Erik ten Hag’s side to an evening they won’t remember in a hurry.

Fernandes in particular was singled out for his display.

His frustrations were well-documented on the pitch, which included one altercation with the linesman in the second half.

After losing out to a 50/50 challenge against Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fernandes went to collect the ball to try and take a quick throw in.

The Portugal international was wound up by Alexander-Arnold, who initially stood in the way, before the linesman moved across to stop him from reacting.

He then went one step further, pushing the linesman in the back.

No caution was given to the captain, but according to Gallagher, Fernandes wasn’t in the wrong and if anything had every right to react how he did.

Gallagher explained: “I actually have mixed feelings about it.

“You don’t want a player to be manhandling a match official but I would suggest that the assistant actually manhandled Fernandes more than he did.

“I think once the official does it first, Fernandes is almost fly-swatting like ‘get out of my way’.

“So while I don’t condone it, I think the referee is in a difficult position because if he goes over and makes an issue of it, Fernandes is likely to say ‘well, he grabbed hold of me first’.”

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