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The official has taken the brunt of various abusive messages on the social media site Twitter for his role in Liverpool's 2-1 defeat at home to rivals Manchester United

Referee Mark Halsey was the subject of Twitter abuse on Sunday evening following Liverpool's 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United.

Halsey, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009, sent off Jonjo Shelvey for a tackle on Jonny Evans in the first half of Liverpool's loss at Anfield before awarding a penalty to Manchester United nine minutes from the end which Robin van Persie converted to give Sir Alex Ferguson's side the victory.

Liverpool fans were also upset when Halsey refused to award a penalty to their side, when Jonny Evans was again in the midst of the action for his tackle on Luis Suarez inside the box.

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