Arsenal, Bournemouth, Chelsea, West Ham and Stoke were on the wrong end of bad decisions over the weekend, according to our Ref Review panel.
Refereeing decisions are regularly the source of debate among fans, pundits, players and managers so this season a five-strong TEAMtalk panel will be passing judgement on every red card (or avoidance of one), every penalty and any other major incident.
We’ll also keep a tally of the major decisions to go for and against each team in an attempt to settle the never-ending debate about whether certain clubs are favoured more than others by Premier League referees.
Arsenal appeal v Newcastle: It wasn’t an intentional trip by Florian Thauvin, and we can’t blame unsighted referee Andre Marriner for missing it, but Hector Bellerin was definitely felled in the penalty area.Verdict: Incorrect decision.
Aleksandar Mitrovic red card v Arsenal: One of our panel felt this was a harsh red card, but a majority of four felt a firm stamp from the Serbian onto the ankle of Francis Coquelin merited the decision. Verdict: Correct decision.
Aston Villa penalty v Sunderland: There was absolutely no doubt about this – Lee Cattermole was quite rightly punished for stupidly climbing over Scott Sinclair in the penalty area. Verdict: Correct decision.
Aston Villa penalty appeal v Sunderland: Carles Gil appealed for a second penalty later in the game, but referee Robert Madley correctly penalised him for simulation. Verdict: Correct decision.
Bournemouth penalty appeal v Leicester: Lee Tomlin was awarded a free-kick after being felled by N’Golo Kante, but replays showed the foul took placed inside the penalty area. Verdict: Incorrect decision.
Robert Huth avoiding red card v Bournemouth: First he smashed the ball into the face of Callum Wilson as he lay on the floor, and then he shoved Tyrone Mings in the face. None of our panel could understand how we escaped with a yellow card. Verdict: Incorrect decision.
Chelsea penalty appeal v Crystal Palace: Kurt Zouma and Connor Wickham were involved in the usual tussling as they awaited a corner kick, but Wickham then held the Chelsea defender’s shirt to prevent him from getting his head to the ball. A four-to-one majority felt the Blues should have had a penalty. Verdict: Incorrect decision.
Philippe Coutinho red card v West Ham: Having already been shown one yellow card, seemingly for dissent, Coutinho was shown a second for a sliding tackle on Dimitri Payet. The Brazilian tried to pull out of the challenge but still ultimately took out the West Ham man. A four-to-one majority felt referee Kevin Friend got this one right. Verdict: Correct decision.
Mark Noble red card v Liverpool: While Friend got the first sending-off correct, Noble clearly won the ball with a controlled lunge to nick the ball away from Danny Ings. Verdict: Incorrect decision.
Ibrahim Afelley red card v West Brom: There is a myth that you ‘can’t raise your hands’, but there is no such rule. Afellay slapped Craig Gardner, but four out of five of the panel felt it did not justify a sending-off and three-match ban for violent conduct. Gardner had also flicked Afellay in the face to provoke the response so, on the same day that Huth escaped a red card, a lack of consistency reared its head. Verdict: Incorrect decision.
Charlie Adam red card v West Brom: There were no arguments about the second red card shown to Stoke, however, with all five of the panel refusing to buy Adam only accidentally stepped on Gardner’s leg. Verdict: Correct decision.
Steven Whittaker red card v Southampton: Booked only a few minutes earlier for stopping Matt Targett from taking a throw-in, Whittaker was sent off after pulling back Dusan Tadic as he chased a ball over the Norwich defence. Verdict: Correct decision.
For and Against – After four games
Liverpool – 4 for
Leicester – 4 for/1 against
Newcastle – 3 for
Crystal Palace – 1 for
Manchester City – 1 for
Manchester United – 1 for
Tottenham – 1 for
West Brom – 1 against
Swansea – 1 for/1 against
Bournemouth – 5 against
Chelsea – 2 against
West Ham – 1 for/3 against
Arsenal – 1 for/2 against
Aston Villa – 1 against
Crystal Palace – 1 against
Norwich – 1 against
Southampton – 1 against
Stoke – 1 against
Sunderland – 1 against
Watford – 0 for/0 against