Former Premier League referee Graham Poll believes Anthony Taylor was absolutely right to award two penalties in Liverpool's 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Tuesday night.
Ten-man Liverpool recorded their first victory in five games thanks to Andy Carroll's injury-time header, after Blackburn fought back from two goals down to threaten an upset.
Maxi Rodriguez scored twice from close range before Alexander Doni was sent off and a penalty awarded after the Liverpool goalkeeper brought down Junior Hoilett. Jon Flanagan's weak back-pass capped a woeful night for the teenage right-back as he sent Hoilett clean through on the Liverpool goal. Doni could do little but upend the Blackburn striker, resulting in a straight red for the keeper.
Australian Brad Jones replaced Flanagan and was immediately called into action to save Yakubu's weak spot-kick. And with first-choice Pepe Reina already suspended after his dismissal against Newcastle last month, the 31-year-old is in line to make his full Liverpool debut against Everton at Wembley in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final.
Liverpool's third-choice keeper was deemed fortunate to escape a red card after he conceded a penalty in farcical circumstances mid-way through the second half. An attempted clearance was charged down by the onrushing Yakubu and, having failed to deal with the spiralling rebound, Jones appeared to push Yakubu to the ground before he could reach the loose ball.
Taylor produced a yellow card for Jones and awarded Blackburn a penalty - a decision that has been lauded by former referee Graham Poll.
"Anthony Taylor was absolutely correct in both penalty decisions - and the disciplinary action which followed them," Poll told the Daily Mail.
"Firstly, Junior Hoilett was clean through and heading towards goal when Liverpool goalkeeper Alexander Doni brought him down.
"It was a clear goal scoring opportunity which Doni's foul denied so a red card was right.
"Then on the hour, the Liverpool substitute keeper, Brad Jones, made a hash of a save and when Yakubu got in front of him he pushed the Blackburn striker - a clear foul and another penalty.
"However, as Yakubu was facing away from goal and the ball was moving away from goal, the law deems that this was not a scoring opportunity, so yellow was right."