Andy Robertson should have been sent off for pushing Leo Messi in the head, says ex-PL ref

Liverpool and famous European nights. Name a better match.

The Reds added to their collection of memorable Champions League encounters by producing a thrilling comeback from 3-0 down against Barcelona.

The 4-0 win at Anfield – courtesy of braces from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum – means Liverpool will compete for the trophy for the second straight year.

Jurgen Klopp has instilled an attitude within his players where they believe that nothing is impossible.

Origi’s early goal was the confidence boost they needed and he wasn’t done there, grabbing the winner to cap a remarkable win.

And yet the match could have taken on an entirely different spin had Liverpool been reduced to 10 men in the early stages of the match.


In the first minute, Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson pushed Lionel Messi in the head as he ran past him.

Messi was furious, complaining to referee Cuneyt Cakir.

Robertson’s actions were excused as simply an attempt to rough the Argentinian up. But according to former Premier League referee Mark Halsey, the Scotland international was lucky to avoid a red card.

“You could argue Andy Robertson should have been sent off for pushing Lionel Messi in the head,” Halsey said.

“The rule of thumb for a referee is if you strike an opponent above the neck then it is a red card offence.

“Referee Cuneyt Cakir did not see the incident early in the game at Anfield.

“But Robertson is a very lucky boy that the video assistant referee Felix Zwayer did not see it as violent conduct.

“What on earth was he doing?

“I’m very surprised VAR official Zwayer did not recommend Cakir to review the incident.”

A sending off for Robertson would have changed the entire complexion of the match.

It’s unlikely Liverpool would have been able to go 90 minutes without conceding, that’s for sure.