Referee Paul Tierney ‘admits he made mistake’ to award Raheem Sterling’s controversial opening goal during Manchester City’s win over Watford
- Raheem Sterling scored hat-trick as leaders Manchester City beat Watford 3-1
- His first was controversial, after referee overturned linesman’s offside decision
- Ref Paul Tierney has now ‘admitted he made a mistake’ awarding Sterling’s first
- He was offside when ball was played, despite scoring from attempted clearance
City went on to win the match 3-1, a Sterling hat-trick securing all three points, but the result could have been very different had the opener been disallowed.
The linesman Adrian Holmes initially raised his flag to signal for offside against Sterling, who saw the ball rebound off him when Daryl Janmaat attempted to clear, but the decision was overturned.
Referee Paul Tierney has ‘admitted he was wrong’ to award Raheem Sterling’s opening goal
Replays showed Sterling (centre bottom) was offside as Sergio Aguero knocked the ball on
The linesman originally flagged for offside, but Tierney overruled decision and gave the goal
Now, according to The Sun, Tierney has held his hands up that he made the wrong decision, following a review of the match on Saturday night.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) issued a statement on Sunday to echo the same sentiment.
Former Premier League referee turned Sportsmail expert Chris Foy said: ‘It’s a difficult decision for the match officials and they’ve got lots of different considerations.
‘But the final outcome should have been an indirect free-kick for offside and the goal shouldn’t have stood.
Both sets of players were incensed – first City’s and then Watford’s when the goal was given
Sterling scored when the ball rebounded off the clearance of Daryl Janmaat and into the goal
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‘Once you become involved in active play, which Raheem Sterling did when he challenged an opponent (Daryl Janmaat) for the ball, then he should have been offside.
‘If he doesn’t challenge and the ball just strikes him then the goal would have been allowed, but in this case he’s clearly attempting to play the ball so the goal should have been ruled out.’
Realising he was on the end of a fortunate decision after the match, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was quick to apologise to City’s opponents Watford.
He also raised the memory of last season and his side’s exit from the Champions League against Liverpool.
In the second leg of the tie, City saw a goal from Leroy Sane chalked off for offside, even though the ball had come to him from a Liverpool player.
‘I understand perfectly,’ Guardiola said post-match. ‘I know it was important to Watford because it was 0-0 and this goal opened up the game.
‘But I was out of the Champions League last season for one quite similar to that. James Milner passed the ball to Leroy.
Pep Guardiola (right) apologised to Watford but brought up a similar moment last season
Leroy Sane (R) scored against Liverpool but the goal was disallowed in similar circumstances
‘We would have scored the second goal. It happens. I’m sorry. I would not like to live these situations but it sometimes happens.
‘Sometimes it’s with you, sometimes against but again, in 90 minutes, we played really well.’
The result gave Manchester City a four-point lead on Saturday night, which was then cut to one point with Liverpool’s win over Burnley on Sunday afternoon.
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