Lawrenson claims ref Webb ‘helped’ Norwich City on way to victory

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson claimed World Cup final referee Howard Webb “helped” the Canaries as they chalked up their first Premier League win of the season.

The former Liverpool star, speaking on Match of the Day, argued that Webb should have punished City defender Leon Barnett for a 15th-minute challenge on Bolton’s Ivan Klasnic, who was later sent off for a head-butt on Marc Tierney.

Barnett’s backside caught Klasnic on the head as he jumped and the Croatian needed treatment before continuing.

“As well as Norwich did, you look at Howard Webb and you kind of think he helped them a little bit,” said Lawrenson.

“In one of the major incidents, Barnett comes through here for this tackle - nothing happens to him. And the more you see of it, you realise what a really bad challenge that was. Nothing - not even a booking.

“I can understand Howard Webb, he wants to try to keep everybody on the pitch as he did in the World Cup final. Sometimes you’ve just got to say ‘I’m sorry . . .’”

Lawrenson also criticised Tierney for his reaction as Klasnic aimed a head-butt at the City full-back to earn a red card.

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“He’s got to go because of the intent, but hey, hold on a minute - Tierney, seriously, if he sees that on the telly tonight, he’s got to have a look at himself or his manager’s got to say to him ‘Look, you just can’t throw yourself on the floor’.

“To add insult to injury, Tierney starts to rub his eye as well. I don’t think he was anywhere near him.

“You would be embarrassed to see that, how you throw yourself down.”

Lawrenson added: “That’s the thing with Howard Webb. Sometimes you end up with referees trying to referee the game that they think people want you to referee.”