Premier League refs’ chief admits officials made major error in Man City vs Tottenham

PGMOL chief Howard Webb has admitted that the match officials made a significant error during Manchester City’s 3-3 draw against Tottenham earlier this month.

City were left furious after referee Simon Hooper decided to pull play back after Jack Grealish had ran through on goal in injury time, with the score

The referee had initially awarded City an advantage following a foul on Erling Haaland, with his decision to stop play prompting incredulity among Haaland and his team-mates.

While his disappointment at the decision was clear, City boss Pep Guardiola refused to criticise Hooper in his post-match press conference: “I never use these kinds of situations [as excuses]. The motivation is to try and do better.

Sometimes decisions help us, sometimes they are against us. I learnt from where I come from that if you want to win something, you have to do it much, much better than the opponent.

“When you are level or have the feeling that it is not going to happen, you have to do much, much better. That is what they have to do.”

Speaking on the ‘Match Officials Mic’d Up‘ show, Webb admitted that Hooper did make an error in not allowing play to continue, although did make a good decision in initially playing advantage.

On this particular occasion, [Hooper] sees a pretty strong, reckless foul challenge by Emerson Royal on Haaland. It’s in midfield, and the ball comes backwards.

“He does the hard work, he just hesitates a moment to see if an advantage is possible. But he recognises in his mind, thinking it through, that it was a strong challenge, it was reckless, he is going to have to caution.

At ground level it is not as easy to see the way things are playing out as it is from an elevated view. He decides to penalise just at the moment where the ball is about to go, and then realises that a wonderful advantage was available.

“For sure, he was devastated. He had refereed the game really well for 93 minutes, but he knows this is going to be the only talking point really close to the end of the game.”