Liverpool lost 2-1 at Manchester City, dropping them from first to fourth in the table and bumping their opponents up to second. After the match, Liverpool manager was quick to blame referee Lee Mason, who is from Bolton, and accuse him of a territorial bias. Even though both sides benefitted from odd decisions.
From the Telegraph:
“We had no help from the officials. They were horrendous,” said Rodgers. “We never got any decision for us. The linesman for the offside one – they’re not even on the same cut of grass. It is not even a difficult one.
"It is a perfectly timed run when he was through on goal, the kind of move we have worked hard on. You can’t get a decision like that wrong at this level. They are big moments in a big game.
“There was another incident where Luis didn’t get a free-kick when Joleon Lescott comes through and it was waved play on. It is arguable it is a penalty at the end. But it was throughout the game.
"Hopefully we don’t have a Greater Manchester referee again on a Liverpool-Manchester game. I was surprised we were playing in Manchester and have a referee from Greater Manchester."
Of course, being from the Greater Manchester area doesn't necessarily mean Mason would want to help Man City. He or his family could be partial to Bolton or Man United (or maybe even none of the above!). Then there's the small matter of him being a professional at the top level in his field and wanting to do his job to the best of his ability like anyone else while also being susceptible to the mistakes and errors in judgment that plague mankind. So, without further evidence, it's hard to say the officials' shortcomings on the day were the result of Lee Mason's mother plopping him out relatively close to where the match was played 42 years earlier.
And for the record, Mason also attended the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education. So maybe he just doesn't like Brendan Rodgers.