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West Ham Utd 1-2 Anthony Taylor

Filed: Sunday, 6th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

Referee Anthony Taylor gave Liverpool a huge boost in their battle to win the Premier League title with a brace of penalties at the Boleyn Ground this afternoon.

Although the name might not be immediately familiar, Taylor - one of the latest in a long list of inept, incompetent, bumbling fools to be charged with officiating Premier League matches - is already well known to West Ham fans for being the cretinous halfwit who dismissed both Carlton Cole and Darren Gibson for high tackles during the West Ham v Everton clash in December 2012 -decisions that were subsequently reversed by an embarrassed FA upon appeal.

Fortunately the 35-year-old Altrincham supporter has only been in charge of two matches involving West Ham since - and one hopes it'll be some considerable time before he does so again, following a dreadful display that would have made the likes of Mike Dean and Keith Hackett cringe.

Having awarded the visitors a spot kick after serial cheat Luis Suarez won a penalty when his point blank shot hit James Tomkins' outstretched hand - from which Steven Gerrard scored to give Liverpool a 44th-minute lead - Taylor allowed a Guy Demel effort to stand 90 seconds later despite Andy Carroll having clearly fouled Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Even his assistant's intervention failed to persuade Taylor that an infringement had taken place, with the referee being caught on camera stating that he believed the Belgian stopper had simply dropped the ball - all of which happened whilst the huge TV screens, one of which was literally a matter of yards away from the consulting duo played back the incident.

No doubt having reviewed the decision at half time, the incident clearly played on the referee's mind and therefore it was no surprise that he awarded the visitors a second spot kick at the first available opportunity when West Ham 'keeper Adrian was adjudged - incorrectly - to have brought down Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan with just 19 minutes of normal time remaining.

Gerrard, who spent the entire game occupying the vast amount of space in front of his back four delivering 60-yard passes to the feet of team mates (damn their direct, long ball tactics) stepped up once again to score what proved to be the game's winning goal.

21-year-old Flanagan is of course another with history where West Ham are concerned, for it was the Liverpool-born full-back's horrific tackle on Stewart Downing that left the England winger hospitalised during the corresponding fixture at Anfield last December.

Unsurprisingly, that awful challenge went unpunished by referee Michael Oliver - another of the new generation of buffoons the Premier League have decided meets the criteria required to officiate top flight football matches - who dismissed Hammers captain Kevin Nolan during the same match.

Getting away with it: West Ham had four players booked - Liverpool, none

Liverpool will no doubt point to the fact that they enjoyed the greater number of shots at goal this afternoon - including two efforts that struck the woodwork - in order to support the notion that they were the more deserving of the teams to emerge from the game with three points.

But as that may be, once again it was the man in the middle who was to ultimately decide the outcome of the game - for without his intervention Liverpool, who failed to score from open play, may well have gone home empty-handed.

Whilst they enjoyed a fruitful opening 20 minutes, in which the title challengers spent much of the game on the backfoot, West Ham failed to make it count when it mattered and just one shot on target during the entire game - plus an Andy Carroll header that crashed off the crossbar - was scant reward for an afternoon's work.

However Liverpool were also limited to the odd half-chance prior to taking the lead, although Suarez - such a naturally gifted footballer that you're left feeling almost cheated when he dives, bites and racially abuses opponents - was inches away from opening the scoring with 19 minutes on the clock when he curled a shot onto Adrian's far post.

The defeat leaves West Ham in 11th place in the Premier League, three points adrift of tenth-placed Stoke. Whilst relegation is almost certainly no longer a concern, Sam Allardyce will be hoping his team can grab one more win, and soon, in order to assuage any lingering fears than might remain.

How they lined up: Today's (barely legible) team sheets

West Ham Utd 1-2 Liverpool: Match Facts

West Ham Utd: Adrian; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Armero; Nolan (Nocerino 67), Noble, M Taylor (Jarvis 78); Diame (C Cole 84), Carroll, Downing

Subs not Used: Jaaskelainen, Potts, Johnson, J Cole.

Goals: Demel (45+2).

Booked: Tomkins (43), Adrian (70), Nocerino (80), Armero (86).

Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Flanagan; Coutinho (Lucas 46), Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling, Sturridge (Toure 85), Suarez, A Taylor.

Subs not Used: Jones, Aspas, Allen, Cissokho, Moses.

Goals: Gerrard (44, 70 pens).

'Referee': Anthony Taylor.

Attendance: 34,977.

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