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Sunday 17 December 2017

Ref slammed after controversial decisions in 'Pool win at St Mary's

Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring the second goal for Liverpool
Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring the second goal for Liverpool

Referee Kevin Friend faced a barrage of criticism after a controversial display in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Southampton in the Premier League.

The Leicester-based 43-year-old turned down two early appeals from Southampton for penalties, either side of Philippe Coutinho's spectacular goal, after Filip Djuricic went down under Liverpool challenges. He also refused Liverpool a spot-kick before half-time, when Jose Fonte challenged Raheem Sterling.

Friend's display drew criticism and discussion on Twitter, where his name was trending at one stage, such was the attention his decisions were attracting.

Here is some of the social media chatter that occurred during the match:

"Referees detest giving penalties. Never understood why. Goals are good for the game." - Match of the Day host and former England ace Gary Lineker.

"There has been some pony refereeing this weekend." - Lineker again.

"Minute 4" - Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand, not playing, appeared to reference Jose Mourinho's post-Burnley comments by picking out a key minute - in this case when Joe Allen and Djuricic tangled.

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