Jose Mourinho being Jose Mourinho, he could not resist.

On Sunday he was not going to talk about the injustice of Newcastle ’s equalising penalty before talking about the injustice of Newcastle’s equalising penalty.

Only in a broader sense. The clubs with the grander honours boards get preferential treatment.

He was probably referring to one of his former employers, Manchester United, but Liverpool would have been on his list.

Even Arsenal, maybe.

It was typical, often tiresome, conspiracy stuff from Jose.

Yet when Sadio Mane, with the game goalless, thrust his arm into Kieran Tierney’s face, Craig Pawson gave Mourinho’s theory credence.


Pawson booked Mane. What for exactly? There was nothing accidental about Mane’s actions towards Tierney, of that we can be sure.

He saw him coming and did what he did.

Whether you agree with the law or not, raising your arm/hand and hitting someone in the face with it normally constitutes a red card.

Ask West Brom’s Kieran Gibbs whose gentle face-push on James Rodriguez got him sent off across the park the other week.

Yet it was a yellow card for Mane. Not only that, there was no review.


It was not the most violent moment you will witness on a football field but for it not to be looked at again was baffling.

Liverpool’s subsequent superiority was not baffling.

That they began this season as second favourites in every bookmakers’ list was utterly mystifying.

The evidence of the entire 2019/20 campaign and the three wins they have completed this season shows them to be head and shoulders above the rest.

Never mind their collective talent, this is a team that also looks stronger and fitter than any of their rivals.


Arsenal had the odd chance to take something from the game but this Liverpool victory should have been far more emphatic and the chances are it would have been secured even if Pawson had decided Mane’s strong-arm on Tierney was worthy of a red.

But even so, Liverpool and Mane got away with one.

And down in London, there would have been someone sporting a very knowing look