Unraveling Paul Tierney’s History of Controversial Calls In Liverpool Matches Amid Nottingham Forest Owner’s Tunnel Outburst

Published 03/03/2024, 12:25 AM EST

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Darwin Nunez scored Liverpool’s winner in the 90+9th minute, cementing their position as the English Premier League’s top seed while pushing Nottingham Forest closer to relegation. Nunez’s clutch strike came after the referee Paul Tierney restarted the match with an uncontested drop ball in Liverpool’s favor. Notably, just before that, Tierney paused the game because of Ibrahima Konate’s head injury when Forest was on an attacking run.

The official’s controversial calls infuriated Forest’s owner, Evangelos Marinakis. He confronted Tierney in the tunnel and said,  “Respect the players! This happens every week.” Interestingly, this episode was just one of the many controversial decisions that came from Paul Tierney during Liverpool matches.

Liverpool’s boss, Jurgen Klopp has time and again found himself in Marinakis’ shoes. The German veteran has drawn daggers with this particular referee on and off the field several times.


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5 instances of Paul Tierney’s controversial officiating in Liverpool games

Why Liverpool in particular? “I really don’t know what this man has against us,” Jurgen Klopp shockingly asserted last year, referring to Paul Tierney after his debatable refereeing in a Liverpool-Tottenham tie.

Klopp vs Tierney: The First Fight


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In 2017, Dominic Solanke scored a late goal in Anfield against West Brom in an FA Cup match. However, Paul Tierney ruled out the goal for a handball, forcing Liverpool to settle for a goalless draw at home. Jurgen Klopp did not hold his horses and rushed to confront Tierney and his refereeing team, questioning if it was a handball. The referee got off the hook saying it was ‘unlucky.’

When Tierney asked Klopp to move on!

Back in 2020, Liverpool registered a 2-0 win against Aston Villa. During the match, Paul Tierney failed to grant Klopp’s side a free kick for Aston Villa’s foul on Georginio Wijnaldum. Hearing the Liverpool boss’ complaints, Tierney admitted he made a mistake. But he confidently asked the German tactician to “get over it.”

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A ‘strange’ decision from Paul Tierney that infuriated Jordan Henderson

Imagine Liverpool getting denied a win against Manchester United. Well, that happened in 2021. In the closing seconds of the first half, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane charged at United’s defense with only the goalkeeper remaining to beat. However, Tierney blew the halftime whistle while a few seconds still remained on the clock.“We weren’t happy about that, as you can imagine. Strange, very strange. I think he’s through on goal if he doesn’t blow,” said club captain Jordan Henderson after the goalless draw.

When Tierney became Klopp’s only ‘problem’


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“I have no problems with any referees, only you,” Jurgen Klopp told Paul Tierney after many controversial decisions during a Liverpool-Tottenham 2-2 draw in 2021. Notably, Tierney sent off back Liverpool’s Andy Robertson for a tackle on Emerson Royal. But he overlooked Harry Kane’s similar challenge on Robertson.

An NSFW exchange between Tierney and Klopp?

Disagreements between Klopp and Tierney took center stage in yet another Liverpool-Tottenham tie in April 2023. “What [Tierney] said to me then when he gave me the yellow card is not OK,” said Klopp. He added that he could not reveal the extent of those words.


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Now, Tierney has emerged as a villain again. Surprisingly, it is not Liverpool, but their opponents, Nottingham Forest that perished under Tierney’s call.


Written by:

Krishna Prasad M


One take at a time

Krishna Prasad is Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. Unlike others, his journey as a sports enthusiast was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed his perspective, as the beautiful game took up a small space in his heart.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz