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Referee explains why Bruno Fernandes wasn't sent off during Liverpool vs Man Utd after assistant incident

Referee explains why Bruno Fernandes wasn't sent off during Liverpool vs Man Utd after assistant incident

A former Premier League referee has revealed why Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes wasn't sent off against Liverpool.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has explained why Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes was not sent off against Liverpool after an incident involving an assistant.

The Portuguese midfielder was caught on camera making contact with assistant referee Adam Nunn during the second half of the game at Anfield, which United lost 7-0.

He had briefly had an altercation with Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, after an attempt to get the ball back from the Reds defender. The assistant then stepped in to prevent escalation.

He did put his hands on Fernandes, with the midfielder then pushing him in the back as he returned to the pitch.

Fernandes was one of several United stars to be heavily criticised after the game for their performances, with United legend Gary Neville calling his behaviour 'embarrassing' and a 'disgrace' on Sky Sports.

The 28-year-old captained the side with Harry Maguire on the bench, but it was certainly a day to forget for Fernandes at Anfield.

However, it could have been even worse for the Portugal international had he been sent off by referee Andy Madley.

Gallagher explains Fernandes decision

Speaking on Sky Sports News' Ref Watch, Gallagher indicated that the assistant making contact with Fernandes first made it difficult for Madley to send off the United star.

He explained: "I have mixed feelings about it. You don't want to have a player manhandling a match official, but I would suggest that the assistant actually manhandles Fernandes more than he did.

"I think once the official does it first, Fernandes is almost fly swatting - 'Get out of my way, I want to get on with it'.

"I don't condone it, and I think the referee is in a difficult position, because if he goes across and makes an issue of it, Fernandes is likely to say, 'Well, he grabbed hold of me first'."

He went on to add: "We can't make a big thing of Fernandes pushing out at him when he received it himself.

"His [Madley's] challenge, if you watch the game, he actually spoke to Fernandes quietly. What it did, it got the message over to him without him actually making it public."

The FA have decided to take 'no formal action' against the midfielder, as per the Daily Mirror, after an investigation.

That is because Madley and his team of officials did see the incident, but elected not to include it in their post-match report - meaning the FA can take no retrospective action.

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports

Topics: Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes, Premier League, Liverpool, Anfield