Ref Review: £20million man ‘got away with it’

Date published: Monday 10th April 2017 2:00

A look at all the controversial decisions during this weekend’s Premier League games with a number of high-profile incidents up for debate.

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 matchday.

We’ll also decide on a weekly basis which side can consider themselves lucky and which was the easiest decision for a match official to make.

Michael Keane yellow card v Middlesbrough

On a scorching hot day on Teesside some late drama possibly denied Boro what would have been a priceless three points. The stage was set.

Former Clarets loanee Patrick Bamford brought the ball down brilliantly with a delicious first touch with just five minutes left and was through on goal. He had the ball under control and was poised to pull the trigger when Keane sent him sprawling.

The home fans were furious when whistler Martin Atkinson picked out a yellow in instead of a red. Keane was the last man and later admitted he “got away with it”. He could, and probably should, have seen red.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Liverpool penalty appeal v Stoke City

Just before Stoke took the lead at the bet365 Stadium Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were asking Mike Dean for a penalty as Ben Woodburn, making his first league start for the club, went down in the area after tangling with Erik Pieters. Dean was having none of it and to be fair a penalty award would have been very soft under the circumstances.

Verdict: Correct decision

West Brom penalty appeal v Southampton

With the score 0-0 and 25 minutes on the clock Jonny Evans went down in the Saints area after plenty of pushing and shoving in the box.

Ref Chris Kavanagh, officiating his first ever Premier League game, was not interested in a Baggies penalty appeal and to be fair to the official he was right on the money.

Verdict: Correct decision

Manuel Lanzini yellow card v Swansea City

Absolutely huge result for West Ham on Saturday, who just about deserved their win at the London Stadium. Lanzini also deserved his caution for shamelessly throwing himself onto the ground in the penalty area, under no contact from Federico Fernandez. An embarrassing bit of play-acting.

Verdict: Correct decision

Luke Shaw yellow card v Sunderland

Shaw, whose recent displays have been publicly criticised by Jose Mourinho, had a decent game at the Stadium of Light but can have few complaints about the caution he received after flying through the back of Ibrahim Ndong.

He didn’t get the ball and it was a naughty challenge. A booking all day long.

Verdict: Correct decision

Seb Larsson red card v Manchester United

There was nobody more unpopular on Wearside on Sunday than Craig Pawson, who sent off Larsson (his first red card in his 278th Premier League appearance) for a first half tackle on Ander Herrera.

He went in over the top of the ball and it was a tad reckless, but was it deserving of a straight red given the contact was minimal?

He actually won the ball and caught Herrera on the follow through. It wasn’t two-footed or particularly aggressive in nature.

The player himself was furious, remonstrating long and loud with the officials before making a reluctant exit. It was a decision that caused a storm on social media and on reflection the wrong one.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Robert Huth yellow card v Everton

A breathless first half at Goodison Park threatened to bubble over when Huth and Kevin Mirallas briefly had each other by the throat. It was all rather unnecessary and neither man had cause to grumble for seeing yellow.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award


Whether a team who had not recorded a home win in six – and had not scored in four of those games – could have come back or not is open to conjecture. But losing Larsson to a very dodgy straight red card when trailing 1-0 effectively ended the Black Cats’ game with the Red Devils as a contest.

Stonewall decision of the week

Luke Shaw yellow card

It was a good weekend for Shaw, with Mr Mourinho changing his tune and offering public praise following his display at the Stadium of Light. “The attitude is improving, the training is improving.

The opportunities are coming. It’s just a process of education” purred Mourinho about his young defender.

That said, the decision to yellow card him for bringing down Ndong from behind was a complete no-brainer.

Agree with our panel? Or are there any incidents you feel should have been included? Get in touch, below…

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