Respected former referee Keith Hackett has admitted he has some sympathy for Sheffield United and Chris Wilder this season following a number of poor refereeing calls.

The Blades have been on the end of some rotten luck this term already, following on from the ‘ghost goal’ at Aston Villa towards the back end of last term.

Aston Villa v Sheffield United - Premier League
(Photo by Tim Goode – Pool/Getty Images)

John Egan saw red for relatively nothing at Villa Park, while David Luiz went unpunished for a similar looking ‘offence’ at Arsenal. Add to that the foul on Sander Berge in the build-up to the Leeds goal, and it seems the Blades are being dealt a bad hand as things stand.

And Hackett, speaking to the Sheffield Star, admits United have been on the wrong end of some bad decisions.

“From my perspective, there was a foul on Egan and I would have expected the assistant referee to flag,” he said of the incident at Villa Park.

“It was six of one and half a dozen of the other so the action should have just been allowed to carry on. The referee had no need to get involved.”

On the call against Sander Berge, Hackett remarked that there was ‘no question’ that there was a foul on the Norwegian and that the referee was ‘caught out’ trying to anticipate the next phase of play.

Aston Villa v Sheffield United - Premier League
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Finally, Hackett believes David Luiz was also lucky to get away with no action. He did, however, insist that he could see why the Brazilian perhaps escaped a red card due to differing opinions of if Burke had control of the ball.

Confirming what we all already knew

It’s good to see someone who knows how to be a referee confirm all this stuff but the reality is that as football fans, we already knew those decisions were wrong.

It means little now as well. We can sit and analyse and look at them until the cows come home. The fact is, they’ve happened, they’ve cost us, and now we must move on.

Hopefully as the season pans out we might get the rub of the green. But it’s tough to take at the moment, I won’t lie.

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