Ex-Premier League referee Mark Halsey has praised Anthony Taylor’s decision to award a penalty inside the first minute of the Manchester Derby.
Hosts Manchester City were hoping to extend their 21-game winning streak ahead of Sunday’s showdown, but an impressive performance from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side saw them lose for the first time since November.
The Cityzens were not helped in their cause after a clumsy challenge from striker Gabriel Jesus saw the South American bring down Anthony Martial inside the 18-yard box, resulting in a penalty for the Red Devils after just 30 seconds.
Bruno Fernandes tucked the spot-kick away and Pep Guardiola’s side failed to recover from their slow start.
Speaking exclusively to This is Futbol, Halsey was quizzed over the call to award United an early penalty, and this is what he had to say in response.
Halsey said: “I think Guardiola will be very, very disappointed with Jesus in that situation. I mean, you know, there are players around him, there are players around Martial, why on earth Jesus made that that challenge, I mean, it is a typical centre-forward’s challenge isn’t it. He just shouldn’t have made it, and I’m sure Guardiola had a few words with him after the game regarding that situation.
“To be fair to Anthony Taylor, because it‘s what, 30 seconds into the game? It’s all about being switched on from that first whistle and clearly, Anthony Taylor was switched on and focussed to give that penalty that early in the game because it can be quite easy not to give something like that that early in the game, perhaps because you’re not switched on and focused. So let’s praise Antony Taylor for being up there with play, great viewing angle and pointing to the spot straight away.”
Luckily for the 23-year-old, City are so far ahead of their Premier League rivals
that the title is almost certainly already heading to the Etihad Stadium, but gifting a goal to your local rivals will hurt all the same.