Ref Review: Liverpool and Manchester City lucky

Date published: Monday 14th December 2015 12:15

Dejan Lovren: Defender injured after hefty Craig Gardner tackle

Liverpool and Manchester City were lucky, at the expense of West Brom and Swansea, but the officials at Villa Park can rest easy, 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 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 16

James Milner avoiding red card v West Brom: Referee Craig Pawson had a busy game at Anfield on Sunday – more of that later – as Tony Pulis’ Baggies clearly riled Jurgen Klopp’s Reds. Pulis was right to be upset that Milner was not sent off for a nasty challenge on Craig Gardner, which got none of the ball and a lot of the midfielder’s ankle. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Craig Gardner avoiding red card v Liverpool: A fiery tackle in a fiery game, just as tempers started to flare, which led to Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren being stretchered off. It was perhaps a surprise that Pawson did not give a free-kick but a red card would have been harsh. Gardner got the ball before his foot flew up from the impact of the tackle and caught Lovren on the knee. Jurgen Klopp had no complaints either. Verdict: Correct decision

Jonas Olsson disallowed goal v Liverpool: Everybody at Anfield seemed to think Olsson had given West Brom the lead, especially after he was allowed to celebrate for around a minute. Eventually the goal was ruled out for offside, despite the linesman not raising his flag. Confusion followed, but replays showed that Olsson was indeed offside. Verdict: Correct decision

Arsenal penalty v Aston Villa: Another instance of a referee taking a while to assess the situation before coming to his decision. Alan Hutton clearly pulled Theo Walcott to the ground, although strangely it was neither Kevin Friend or the closest assistant which decided the forward had been fouled, but the linesman in the other half of the pitch. Verdict: Correct decision

Gylfi Sigurdsson disallowed goal v Manchester City: A 50/50 race to the ball between Joe Hart and Bafetimbi Gomis which the goalkeeper just won, punching the ball into the path of Sigurdsson, who put the ball in the empty goal. After a bit of debate among the panel, it’s decided the call was unfair on the Swans, who had a perfectly good equaliser chalked off. Verdict: Incorrect decision


For and Against

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

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