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Socks, shirts and penalties

For anyone who saw it, the Manchester City v Southampton match last weekend was a joy to watch and embodied everything that the Premier League has to offer.

The smaller teams giving the bigger teams a run for their money, goals galore... and disruptions in play due to coloured tape not matching the player’s socks?

Some say it’s madness, but officials argue that the new law introduced by FIFA is to help referees determine key decisions.

We saw it in the Olympics and now it’s leaking into the Premier League, but the question beckons is it really that hard to get the same coloured tape as your socks?

It sounds relatively simple, but nevertheless as the players have shown it seems to have posed a bit of a problem.

You can perhaps understand 'extreme' cases, for example if a player’s sock colour is distorted by the overuse of tape this could confuse and or affect the judgement of a referee’s decision.

But I don’t see the need for a disruptive new law. Surely the referee can check socks and tape in the tunnel before the game starts or during the warm up?

Shirt lifters - a fine line

Carlos Tevez escaped a booking during the season opener against Southampton after scoring and celebrating by lifting his shirt up.

This type of celebration is usually seen as a bookable offence and everyone in the world of football is quite accustomed to this by now.

In the second half, team mate Samir Nasri had a similar idea to Tevez to celebrate by lifting his shirt. In this case the Frenchman was booked.

The vital difference between being booked and escaping a booking, in this case, was that Nasri, unlike Tevez, lifted the shirt collar up and over his head.

So does this mean the player’s have found a 'loophole' in the laws of the game?

We’ll soon find out - or perhaps the FA will enforce another law, this time restricting players from any kind of shirt lifting.

Liverpool’s penalty woe

Liverpool suffered a bad first day of the season away to West Bromwich Albion and in the process conceded two penalties.

Centre back pairing Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel had a bad day at the office.

Agger was the more unlucky of the two, the Dane was judged to have pushed and tripped WBA striker Shane Long as he entered the box.

The penalty was a bit dubious and replays showed the slightest of touches forced Long to the ground, but as the last man Agger denied Long a clear one-on-one goal scoring opportunity and had to be sent off.

Skrtel on the other hand was caught off-guard by Long who proved to be a thorn in Liverpool’s side all afternoon. As Skrtel picked up the ball inside his own box, rather casually, Long nipped in from behind the Slovakian, taking the ball just as Skrtel was about to clear it, sending Long to the ground.

A clear penalty in all honesty, a lapse in concentration and no 'man-on' call punished Liverpool.

Liverpool need to firm up their defence before a clash against the champions Manchester City on Sunday.

By Lewis Edwards – Follow me on Twitter @LCEdw

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