Diego Costa’s antics marked a poor weekend for referees, with Leicester and Manchester United also benefiting 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.
Diego Costa v Gabriel – Chelsea v Arsenal: Where better place to start than the refereeing decision – or lack thereof – that has dominated the Premier League weekend. Mike Dean had quite the job on his hands in dealing with this London derby, but he really did struggle during this fracas just before half-time.
Simply enough, Diego Costa was lucky not to be sent off on a number of occasions. Three separate times the Spanish international flailed his arms and hit the face of Laurent Koscielny, before bumping the Frenchman to the ground with his chest. Not dealing with Costa here was error number one.
Koscielny’s back-up then appeared in the form of Gabriel. The Brazil defender immediately went toe-to-toe with Costa, with both eventually being booked for their part. Still, the pair clashed and argued as they walked away. It was here where Costa goaded Gabriel into the slightest of kicks, for which the Arsenal man was shown red by Dean. Some may deem Gabriel’s sending off soft, but it was most certainly correct. How Costa managed to escape with a mere booking is perplexing, however. A terrible call from the officials to say the least, and one that left Arsenal a man down when it should have been 10 v 10. Verdict: Incorrect decision (to not send off Costa)
Chelsea penalty appeal v Arsenal: Gabriel did not only clash with Costa at Stamford Bridge. The Brazilian tangled with Eden Hazard in the penalty area in the first half before the Belgian tumbled to the ground, and replays show that the defender was fortunate not to concede a penalty at the time. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Santi Cazorla red card v Chelsea: Mike Dean and his officials did get one call right on Saturday afternoon, which was the dismissal of Santi Cazorla. The Spaniard was booked twice for late challenges, and Cazorla’s complaints rightly fell on deaf ears. Verdict: Correct decision
Aston Villa disallowed goal v West Brom: Chasing the game at 1-0 down, Villa thought they had found an equaliser when Micah Richards headed home Joleon Lescott’s cross. Referee Martin Atkinson had already (correctly) blown for a foul on Jack Grealish however, meaning that, despite complaints from the home fans and manager Tim Sherwood, Richards’ goal could not count. Verdict: Correct decision
Sunderland disallowed goal v Bournemouth: Jeremain Lens thought he had clawed one back for the Black Cats in the second half with a header from a Yann M’Vila cross, but the linesman adjudged him to be offside when the ball was delivered. Frankly, we’ll have to trust the official on this one as doubt remains even after numerous replays. Verdict: Correct decision
Younes Kaboul red card v Bournemouth: The Frenchman struggled with Callum Wilson all afternoon, and both challenges on the striker were worthy of bookings. Verdict: Correct decision(s)
Newcastle penalty appeal v Watford: Although no Magpies players actually appealed to the referee for this one, Papiss Cisse’s shirt was clearly pulled by Sebastian Prodl as the striker tried to tap the ball beyond Heurelho Gomes. We’ve certainly seen these given, and a three-to-two majority agrees that Steve McClaren’s men should have had a penalty. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Leicester penalty v Stoke: No complaints at all here, with Marko Arnautovic clumsily barging over Danny Drinkwater in the penalty area. Verdict: Correct decision
No Stoke free-kick v Leicester: This one is a little murkier. Jon Walters and Wes Morgan tangled in the Leicester half, with Potters manager Mark Hughes incensed that the officials did not award a free-kick to Walters. A minute later, Jamie Vardy broke free at the other end of the pitch to equalise for the Foxes. A three-to-two panel majority thinks Stoke should feel hard done-by. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Kevin Mirallas red card v Swansea: Roberto Martinez may feel “really disappointed” by the decision to send Kevin Mirallas off late on against Swansea, but the referee had no choice after the Belgian caught Modou Barrow’s shin with his studs. Verdict: Correct decision
Ben Davies disallowed goal v Crystal Palace: With Spurs pushing to find the opening goal at White Hart Lane, the left-back benefited from Son Heung-min’s saved effort to nod home at the second attempt. However, striker Harry Kane was in an offside position on both occasions, and the England striker was undoubtedly interfering with play. Verdict: Correct decision
Manchester United first goal v Southampton: Well-taken though Anthony Martial’s first goal against Southampton may have been, but Juan Mata was in an offside position when Morgan Schneiderlin’s header found him in the area. No arguments on this one. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Sadio Mane penalty appeal v Manchester United: After playing an excellent one-two with Steven Davis in the second half, Sadio Mane went to ground under an apparent hack from Chris Smalling in the penalty area. Nothing was given, and replays justified as such as the Senegalese was proven to have dived. Verdict: Correct decision, although why wasn’t Mane booked?
For and Against