Liverpool will run the risk of being thrown out of the FA Cup if they opt to field Joel Matip in Wednesday night's (18 January) third-round replay against Plymouth Argyle before he has received the necessary international clearance. Although fit again following an ankle injury, Matip was withdrawn from contention for the recent 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford after the club struggled to obtain the necessary clarity from Fifa regarding his eligibility. Despite considering himself retired from international football and having not represented his country since September 2015, the influential centre-back was included in Cameroon's 35-man provisional squad for the latest Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Liverpool had the shot count on their side, holding Manchester United to their second fewest of the season. And for a long time, they had the score on their side. Then, late in the second half, Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalised for host United. It was a goal that never should have counted according to England’s former top referee. “Manchester United benefited from an error by assistant referee Mick McDonough,” Howard Webb told The Times today. “Positioning is everything as an assistant referee and he is not where he needs to be. Because he is too far down the touchline, he cannot judge whether Antonio Valencia is offside, which he is.” United’s move leading to the goal started off with a pass to Valencia,