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Referee Michael Oliver should have punished Darwin Nunez in the same way as Diogo Dalot

Manchester United and Liverpool played out a goalless draw at Anfield on Sunday that saw Diogo Dalot receiving his marching orders late in the contest.

Referee Michael Oliver brandished two yellows in quick succession after Dalot reacted badly to a poor decision by the match officials.

It was a very harsh call from Oliver, as one yellow card was enough to warn Dalot.

However, the referee clearly did not want to end the game without making his presence felt in a big Premier League encounter.

The officials are punishing players for protesting in a wild manner, but Dalot’s dismissal was unjustified.

Dalot was understandably livid as Oliver’s incorrect decision gave possession to the hosts in the final minute of stoppage time.

A single yellow card would have been sufficient, particularly given that Oliver made the wrong call over the throw-in.

Another point worth noting is the officials must be consistent if they want to take a strict approach.

Darwin Nunez committed an even bigger ‘crime’ than Dalot in the 21st minute.

He elbowed Jonny Evans with no intention of getting to the ball. When given as a foul, he kicked the ball away in frustration. He followed that up with a few choice words to the linesman.

Oliver brandished a yellow card, to which Nunez sarcastically clapped to show his dissent.

The referee’s no-nonsense policy was nowhere to be seen on this occasion.