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Referee error before Liverpool's winner at Nottingham Forest causes controversy as Mark Clattenburg speaks out

Nottingham Forest's 1-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday ended in chaos and controversy over referee Paul Tierney's decision not to return the ball to Forest following a head injury; Mark Clattenburg, the club's referee analyst, unclear if club will officially complain to the PGMOL

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Watch the moment match official Paul Tierney incorrectly gave Liverpool an uncontested drop ball; when he stopped play for a head injury to Ibrahima Konate despite Nottingham Forest being in possession of the ball at the time of the incident

Referee Paul Tierney should have given Nottingham Forest the ball back minutes before Liverpool's dramatic 99th-minute winner that sparked chaotic scenes at full-time.

When Tierney stopped play in the 96th minute after Ibrahima Konate went down in the Liverpool box with an apparent head injury, Callum Hudson-Odoi was in possession of the ball but, when play stopped, Luiz Diaz kicked the ball back toward the Liverpool goal.

Play then restarted with an uncontested drop ball that was given to Caoimhin Kelleher but Sky Sports News understands that this should have been given to Nottingham Forest. IFAB law 8.2 states "the referee drops the ball for one player of the team that last touched the ball at the position where it last touched a player."

Liverpool proceeded to win a corner at the other end of the pitch before scoring a 99th-minute winner through Darwin Nunez to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League table - leading to chaotic scenes at full-time. Forest had regained possession before Nunez eventually scored the winner.

IFAB law 8.2


The ball is dropped for the defending team goalkeeper in their penalty area if, when play was stopped:

the ball was in the penalty area or
the last touch of the ball was in the penalty area

In all other cases, the referee drops the ball for one player of the team that last touched the ball at the position where it last touched a player, an outside agent or, as outlined in Law 9.1, a match official.

All other players (of both teams) must remain at least 4 m (4.5 yds) from the ball until it is in play.

The Nottingham forest owner, Evangelos Marinakis, angrily questioned referee Tierney in the tunnel after full-time, telling him he should 'respect the players!'

Sky Sports News has been told reports suggesting the Greek millionaire had to be restrained by security staff, are incorrect.

Coach Steven Reid continued his angry confrontation towards the officials, even after he had been shown a red card on the pitch after the final whistle. He is likely to face further sanction from the FA.

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The Soccer Saturday team reacts to scenes at the end of Nottingham Forest's match at home to Liverpool

After the game Forest's referee analyst, Mark Clattenburg said he had not spoken to Tierney about the incident and it was "too early" to say whether the club would send a letter of complaint to the PGMOL.

Clattenburg said: "What we will be doing is speaking to the PGMOL, with my relationships that I have with the PGMOL and the Premier League, and we will discuss what happened on the field of play today, and we will look at the course of action in the future.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool

"Under the laws of the game, the team that has possession when he blows the whistle to stop the game - he is entitled to stop the game because it is a potential head injury - but whoever has the possession, the ball goes back to that team and the other team retreat one metre," said Clattenburg.

"They changed the law because they did not want a contested drop ball. So, years ago when we had contested drop balls, players used to swing legs and people could get injured so I understand the law change. But the laws state that certainly if the ball is outside of the penalty area and you have possession of the ball, you get possession back.

"In that crucial moment, Nottingham Forest have got the ball in the corner so they can absorb the time, see the time out to get the result, 0-0. The ball has gone back to Liverpool and they have won a corner. People can say they could have cleared their lines but from that initial moment players can lose concentration because they feel there has been an injustice."

Clattenburg said that he will be speaking to the Forest hierarchy about the matter. "I will sit down with the board and the owners to explain what has happened. It is difficult to explain it." But there has been no dialogue with Tierney himself. "No, I went to go into the dressing room but he would not let us in."

Sky Sports News has contacted the PGMOL for clarification.

Nuno: Tough to take

But Nuno Espirito Santo, the Forest head coach, refused to be drawn on the subject afterwards. "I will not comment on the referee," Nuno began his press conference.

"Please don't insist on that, it will not be good. It will be a discussion point, for sure, in the week. I hope the decisions will be better."

As for the result itself, he said: "It is tough to take, I am proud of the boys. They did everything well until the last moment.

"We played a very good game, limited Liverpool, a fantastic team. They had chances, we had chances, it was good game of football. We had clear chances and should improve. We played good but the team that are clinical get the advantage in the score.

"Our fans deserve to go home happy and they are not."

Klopp: The same thing happened to us in the first half

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: "It happened exactly the same as it did in the first half, just the other way round. I expected it to happen exactly like that because it happened like that in the first half. If it wouldn't have happened in the first half I would have asked the question as well.

"I would now assume that is the rule - to be honest, I wasn't sure - because twice it happened and twice it was handled exactly the same, so I don't really see the reason for the discussions because that's it.

"I don't know how many passes we had to play to arrive there and score the goal, but I understand 100 per cent the excitement, and the anger from Nottingham of course. But I would say it was twice, and twice the same, so that is consistent."

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