Dermot Gallagher comments on referee's display in Manchester derby

Manchester City Etihad

Former referee Dermot Gallagher comments on Michael Oliver's performance in the derby between Manchester City and Manchester United.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has said on Sky Sports News, broadcast on March 21 at 10.30am, that Michael Oliver will be disappointed with his decision not to award a first-half penalty to Manchester United during the derby clash with Manchester City.

Moments before the half-time whistle, Marcus Rashford - who had already put United into a 1-0 lead - was felled by Martin Demichelis inside the penalty area, but the official waved play on despite the Argentine defender upending the teenage striker.

Later in the game, Chris Smalling could have been awarded a second yellow card after fouling Sergio Aguero during the closing stages as City pressed for an equaliser, but Oliver opted against handing out another caution.

Both incidents sparked plenty of date during and after the match, but Gallagher has suggested that Oliver only got one of the decisions wrong.

Gallagher said: "I think it is a penalty. All I can think is that Michael thinks Demichelis has shoulder-barged him. When you see that he hasn't, it is just a decision that he has got wrong.

"Knowing Michael as I do, he will be the most upset by that because he is such a professional. He will beat himself up and he will need people to say 'look, root causes a remedy, how did you get it wrong?' and how can you make sure you won't get it wrong next time because that is all it is - an error."

 

On the Smalling incident, he said: "His first booking wasn't just for that foul. You can see here that he has made a point of saying it was for three fouls. People wanted Smalling sent off but you have to remember it has taken him three fouls to get to a yellow card.

"It doesn't necessary have to take him three fouls to get to a red card, but it doesn't automatically mean that his next foul should be a red card. I think that is what you have to remember because it wasn't enough to merit a yellow card on its own."

The win for United has taken them to within one point of City in the Premier League table, with West Ham United currently lodged in between the two North-West clubs as they battle it out for the final Champions League position.

The trio also face competition from Southampton, Stoke City and Liverpool, who are keen to dislodge one of the teams above them in order to finish in the top six.

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