Alan Shearer and Ian Wright were in disagreement over whether the free-kick that led to Bruno Fernandes‘ winner for Manchester United against Liverpool should have been awarded, reports England’s Daily Mail on Monday.
With the sides level at 2-2 in the closing stages of the FA Cup fourth round tie at Old Trafford, referee Craig Pawson gave United a free-kick just outside the area for a challenge from Liverpool’s Fabinho on Edinson Cavani.
Newcastle legend Shearer felt that it was the correct decision, saying that Fabinho’s knee went ‘through the back’ of Cavani.
Speaking on BBC Sport, Shearer said: ‘The defender comes through the back of Cavani. He uses all his experience and uses his body well. He gets his body in front of the ball. His knee goes through the back of him. It’s definitely a free-kick.’
Wright, however, disagreed, saying: ‘He’s starting to go down anyway. It doesn’t make a difference what Fabinho’s done. He’s on his way down.’
With 12 minutes remaining, Fernandes stepped up to take the free-kick and scored. United held on for victory, while Liverpool’s recent frustrations continued.
In an enthralling game, Mohamed Salah had put Liverpool ahead before goals from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood saw United go in front. Salah made it 2-2 as he scored again, but Fernandes’ free-kick proved decisive.
One United fan was adamant that the aforementioned decision regarding the free-kick was the correct one, stating: ‘Any other team and this wouldn’t even be a debate. The most obvious free kick you’ll see all season.’
Another added: ‘Cavani doing what all good centre forwards should do, protecting the ball and trying to roll the defender. Clumsy challenge.’
In addition, another wrote: ‘The question should be. Why wasn’t fabinho given a 2nd yellow for that foul.’
Many Liverpool fans, however, were angered by the decision.
One wrote: ‘Not a chance. Cavani clever and starts falling before any “contact”. Ref got mugged right off to be fair, but he got a lot wrong during the game.’
Another wrote: ‘Never a free kick, same as never a penalty for Burnley in the league , refereeing standards are shocking , always the same against league champions.’
Another Liverpool fan wrote: ‘No way thats a free kick! even the pundits start talking about experience. Another decision for Manchester United shock.’