Former head referee Keith Hackett has given Craig Pawson huge credit for playing advantage before Kevin De Bruyne’s goal against Chelsea on Saturday.
N’Golo Kante fouled De Bruyne in the build-up to City’s winner but Pawson waved play on, rather than blowing the whistle to stop play. It had a big impact on the result and Hackett says the referee had a good game in general:
“I don’t want to underscore the referee’s performance because it was good. His mobility is improving and I think that is benefitting him by making more accurate decisions and looking more confident. He applied a really good advantage for the goal.”
“That reflected the behaviour of the players of both teams who were on their best behaviour. Credit to them, they just wanted to play football, they didn’t want to argue with the referee and the referee didn’t give them cause to argue. It was a really good game of football, it was a good watch. De Bruyne’s goal was world-class, he’s a really special player.”
Pawson undoubtedly made the correct call but it was De Bruyne who was the one who made the best use possible out of the advantage. His curling shot from outside of the box was sumptuous, and it was typical of the player, whose composure in big moments is second to none.
With a 13 point lead over Chelsea at the top of the table, it’s probably safe to assume that City ended their opponent’s title chances. Liverpool did close the gap slightly with their win over Brentford yesterday, though, so Pep Guardiola’s side will want to keep the momentum up with another victory against Southampton on Saturday.
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