Ref Review: Chelsea and Liverpool get lucky

Date published: Monday 5th October 2015 1:26

Sadio Mane: Chopped down at Chelsea

Sadio Mane: Chopped down at Chelsea

Southampton should have had two penalties against Chelsea, while Liverpool’s Lucas should have been sent off, say 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 every weekend.

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.

Week 8

Virgil van Dijk penalty appeal v Chelsea: Penalties are very rarely awarded for holding or shirt pulling, but Southampton felt they should have been awarded a spot-kick when Branislav Ivanovic grabbed a hold of Van Dijk’s shirt as the pair awaited the delivery of a corner. This call split the panel, but three out of five felt it was obvious enough to warrant a penalty. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Sadio Mane penalty appeal v Chelsea: Referee Bobby Madley gave nothing when Mane went down in the penalty area following a challenge from Ramires, but replays showed the Brazilian trod on Mane’s foot. The Saints forward fell theatrically, but a four-to-one majority on our panel felt a penalty should have been awarded Verdict: Incorrect decision

Radamel Falcao penalty appeal v Southampton: Despite his side escaping two Southampton penalty appeals, Jose Mourinho said after Saturday’s game that referees are “afraid to give decisions for Chelsea”, with Falcao booked after going down under the challenge of the onrushing Maarten Stekelenburg. Highlighting just how difficult a job the referee has, there was no universal agreement on this call either. One member of the panel felt that Stekelenburg deserved to be penalised having slid in without getting the ball, but the majority felt Falcao deserved the yellow card having allowed his legs to buckle before any contact was made. Verdict: Correct decision

Jeremain Lens sending-off v West Ham: Having already been booked for an earlier foul on Aaron Cresswell, Lens left Neil Swarbrick with no choice but to send him off after an ugly scissor tackle on Winston Reid. Verdict: Correct decision

Mark Noble avoiding second yellow v Sunderland: The home fans were furious that Noble didn’t follow Lens in leaving the pitch early after he fouled Fabio Borini while on a booking. However, a four-to-one majority on our panel felt that there was little Noble could do to get out of the way of Borini and that a yellow card would have been extremely harsh given how far away from goal the foul took place. Verdict: Correct decision

Leicester City penalty v Sunderland: There was no debate about this one after Sebastian Bassong clumsily brought down Jamie Vardy from behind. Verdict: Correct decision

Bournemouth penalty v Watford: In a classic penalty-box scramble, Etienne Capoue knocked over Glenn Murray then gave away a spot-kick for a foot into the back of Adam’s Smith leg. There were claims earlier in the game that Murray could have been shown a red card for a late challenge on Capoue, but our panel all agreed a yellow was fair. Verdict: Correct decisions

Disallowed Marko Arnautovic goal v Aston Villa: No matter how many times we watched the replay of this, we couldn’t say for absolute certain whether Arnautovic was on or offside when poking in Bojan’s cross. It was argued that benefit of the doubt should be given to the attacker in these circumstances before eventually finding an angle to convince three of the panel that Arnautovic’s head was offside. Verdict: Correct decision

Crystal Palace penalty v West Brom: After giving him the runaround all game, Wilfried Zaha drew Chris Brunt into giving away a needless penalty which sealed the victory for Palace against Tony Pulis’ visitors. Verdict: Correct decision

Lucas avoiding second yellow v Everton: Roberto Martinez was adamant that Lucas should have been shown a second yellow card for bringing down Ross Barkley from behind. It was the midfielder’s seventh foul of the game, with Brendan Rodgers sensibly substituting him not long after. Lucas was a lucky boy. Verdict: Incorrect decision

For and Against

Team For Against Total For/Against
1. Liverpool Five None +5
2. Leicester Five One +4
3. Newcastle Three One +2
4. Man Utd Two None +2
5. Tottenham Three One +2
6. Man City Three Two +1
7. Watford One None +1
8. Arsenal Three Three 0
9. Chelsea Three Three 0
10. Swansea One One 0
11. Aston Villa None One -1
12. Everton None One -1
13. Crystal Palace One Two -1
14. Norwich None One -1
15. Sunderland None One -1
16. West Brom None One -1
17. West Ham One Three -2
18. Stoke None Three -3
19. Southampton None Four -4
20. Bournemouth None Five -5

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