Atkinson and Taylor to officiate on Super Sunday

Martin Atkinson will take charge of Liverpool’s visit to cross-city rivals Everton and Anthony Taylor will be in the middle for Arsenal’s encounter with fellow heavyweights Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Martin Atkinson and Anthony Taylor collage
Cards: Taylor (left) has averaged four yellow cards per Premier League game this season while Atkinson (right) has sent off three players in four previous Merseyside derbies (Pictures from Sky Sports)

MARTIN Atkinson will be in the middle for the Merseyside derby while Anthony Taylor will take charge of Manchester United’s visit to Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

West Yorkshire whistler Atkinson will handle a fifth encounter between fierce rivals Everton and Liverpool but only his second at Goodison Park (KO 1:30pm, live on Sky Sports 1).

Manchester-based Taylor will oversee an Arsenal-United match for the first time when the two heavyweights meet at the Emirates Stadium (KO 4pm, live on Sky Sports 1).

The two Fifa-listed referees will also be in action in Europe during the week.

Atkinson has been appointed to officiate Barcelona’s Group E clash with Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday night at the Nou Camp.

Taylor will be in Greece to control Borussia Dortmund’s Group C Europa League clash with PAOK Salonika on Thursday night.

Bradford-based Atkinson will oversee a Merseyside derby at Everton’s ground for the first time since controversially dismissing Jack Rodwell for an apparent foul on Luis Suarez in October 2011 – a red card that was later rescinded.

His first derby was Liverpool’s 1-0 win at Anfield in February 2010 when he sent off Sotiros Kyrgiakos for a foul on Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar for two bookable offences while brandishing yellow cards to five other players.

The Leeds United supporter has also taken charge of the last two derbies at Anfield.

Atkinson has dished out more yellow cards than any other Select Group official this term – 32 in seven games so far – and is the only referee to officiate a top-flight game every weekend.

It will be the first time he encounters either side since March when handling Liverpool’s 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United – in which he sent off captain Steven Gerrard just 40 seconds after coming on at half-time – and Everton’s 3-0 win over Newcastle.

Atkinson – who is yet to award a penalty or send a player off this term – was accused of poor time-keeping by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho after their 2-2 draw at Newcastle last weekend.

“I know what kind of referee Mr Atkinson is; stops the game, gives time, speaks too much, long conversations with players,” he said in his post-match press briefing at St James’s Park.

The 43-year-old will be assisted by his regular linesmen Stephen Child and Mike Mullarkey while the fourth official is Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).

Taylor will be in the middle for his seventh Premier League game of the season and his second Arsenal game after the Community Shield against Chelsea at Wembley in August.

The Wythenshawe whistler – who supports non-league club Altrincham – visited the Emirates three times last term for the Gunners’ league matches with Aston Villa, Liverpool and Sunderland and sent off Calum Chambers in their 3-2 defeat at Stoke.

Taylor will still be remembered by Arsenal fans from the opening day of the 2013/14 season, which saw Laurent Koscielny controversially sent off and two penalties awarded to Aston Villa.

In total, he has sent off three Gunners players and booked 21 in 13 games involving Arsene Wenger’s team.

Taylor handled three United matches in 2014-15 – their 3-0 home win over Hull, 1-0 victory at Newcastle and, latterly, 1-0 home reverse by West Brom in which he awarded the Reds a penalty which Robin van Persie saw saved by Boas Myhill.

United have won seven and lost none of their nine games that Taylor has officiated – and he has never awarded a penalty in a match involving the Old Trafford club with the only red card given to Ronald Zubar of Wolves in a 5-0 win at Molineux in March 2012.

Last term, the 36-year-old stepped up as a senior official having handled his first Merseyside and Tyne Wear derbies among 29 Premier League games, the Capital One Cup Final, a Euro 2016 qualifier and Championship play-off semi-final first leg between Ipswich and Norwich.

Taylor’s only red card so far this season came at Upton Park last month when sending off West Ham keeper Adrian against Leicester and put in an impressive performance in Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win at Watford – in which he awarded his only penalty thus far.

Just as he was at Vicarage Road last weekend, Taylor will be assisted by John Brooks and Lee Betts in north London with Roger East acting as the fourth official.


PL Match Official Appointments (3rd-4th Oct 2015)

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