A few years ago I started to feel that only European refs gave Liverpool fair decisions at Anfield, although at times, they were also overly generous. I have felt that English referees actively seek to deny Liverpool favourable decisions; ever since what I see as their desire to please the baying Kop – the old model – has been replaced with the desire to appease the massive neutral audience across TV, media and social media. This season, despite being a free-scoring side, Liverpool have had just one league penalty at Anfield. Everton, who didn’t even get out of their own fucking half, have had as many penalties as the Reds in the league at Anfield since May.
Liverpool have had eight penalties in their last 14 European home games, stretched over the past five seasons, but weirdly, have had no away penalties away in Europe in that time; so maybe European refs are “homers”. Liverpool get a penalty in Europe, at Anfield, every second game, and have had a penalty in every home Champions League group game this season; but just one in nine games in the Premier League. It goes too far the other way. English refs adjudicate against Liverpool at Anfield, I feel, while foreign refs seem generous.
Indeed, the Reds have had just 13 Anfield penalties in the last 85 home Premier League fixtures; or just three a season, one every three months. Indeed, the Reds had three in one game at Old Trafford during this period. In the same duration – 4.5 seasons – the Reds have had 17 league away penalties in total. (Also, Liverpool’s only two domestic cup penalties in the same time have both been away from Anfield, making for 19 awarded away from home compared to just 13 at home since the start of 2013/14.)
This makes absolutely no sense, given that the Reds have the ball in the opposition box much more at Anfield, dominate games more at Anfield, have far more shots at Anfield, and so on; unless referees are bending over backwards to avoid being seen as “homers”, and in particular, to avoid bowing to the supposed pressure of the Kop. It’s not a conspiracy, but it’s dodgy. On the law of averages, Liverpool should probably have twice as many home penalties as away, based on pure logic. Instead, it’s closer to the other way around. In the league, Liverpool’s home goal difference since the start of 2013/14 is four times what it is away. So why so few home penalties?
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