Former referee Keith Hackett believes Fernandinho should have been sent off during Manchester City's 0-0 draw with Liverpool and claims the Brazilian's reputation with officials saved him.
Hackett argued that Fernandinho's 'polite and respectful manner' towards officials spared him from receiving a red card from Martin Atkinson on Sunday after colliding with Reds forward Sadio Mane.
Writing for the Telegraph, Hackett explained: "I felt that Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho should have received a straight red card for a forearm smash on Sadio Mane midway through the second half, and to my mind it was a classic example of a player’s reputation getting them out of a potentially tricky situation.
"Simply put, the Brazilian does not have a reputation as a dirty player. He makes the occasional foul, obviously, but he is rarely involved in incidents of violent conduct and always behaves in a polite and respectful manner towards officials. That does make a difference when it comes to these types of incidents.
"I must say I don’t think Martin saw the incident clearly, because if he had I am sure he would have sent Fernandinho off. But the fact it was Fernandinho means he may not have looked quite as closely at it as he might have done if it were a player with a reputation as a nasty piece of work."
Fernandinho remained on the pitch and helped City keep a clean sheet against Liverpool's revered front three, and Pep Guardioa's side could have left Anfield with all three points had Riyad Mahrez not skied his penalty in the final minutes.
The goalless draw means City currently top the Premier League on goal difference, level on points with both Liverpool and Chelsea, who beat Southampton 3-0. Arsenal and Tottenham both sit two points behind.