Dermot Gallagher explains why Simon Hooper did 'nothing wrong' in controversial Man City vs Tottenham moment
Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has issued his verdict on the controversial moment during Tottenham Hotspur's away draw with Manchester City on Sunday. It was a chaotic clash between Spurs and City, who played out a 3-3 draw at the Etihad Stadium, with Dejan Kulusevski scoring in the 90th minute to level the score and earn a much-needed point for the visitors.
Though, City thought they were going to win it even after that point, with a controversial moment costing them a huge chance to secure all three points. City won a foul for a challenge on Erling Haaland but Simon Hooper played advantage briefly, leading to City setting Jack Grealish through on goal, but unaware that Grealish was breaking free, Hooper called back the play for the free-kick.
City were left furious with the decision, which was clearly an error in judgement from Hooper. But according to former top-flight referee Gallagher, while the situation did not play out the way Hooper would have liked, no actual error was committed, at least not by the rulebook. Speaking on Sky Sports' Ref Watch, Gallagher said: "Difficult because this is a lad who I'd say plays advantage more than anybody. He quite rightly plays on and for whatever reason Simon then blows up. If he'd have waited a second later the whole landscape changes. technically, by law he hasn't done anything wrong. It is the ref's choice to play advantage, not anybody else."
The result means City fall further behind leaders Arsenal, now three points worse off, while Tottenham are three points worse off in fifth spot. City have now failed to win their last three league games, further opening up the title race at this still early stage. Appearing alongside Gallagher, former Liverpool, Leeds United and Aston Villa defender Stephen Warnock said: "I accept human error but it is a big error from Simon Hooper. He will be devastated looking back at that."