Ref Review: Our take on 3 Liverpool penalty appeals; Spurs lucky

Date published: Monday 12th March 2018 1:19

Ref Review looks at the three penalty calls for Liverpool at Old Trafford, while should Marcus Rashford have seen red? Also, Tottenham were fortunate against Bournemouth.


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.


Marcus Rashford first goal v Liverpool

There was nothing wrong with the legality of the goal – and what a finish by the way – but should Rashford have seen yellow for diving into the crowd? Common sense says no, but the letter of the law says yes. And Liverpool fans were furious afterwards given the fact that the 20-year-old was later booked for a crude lunge on James Milner that saw him booked. If he’d have seen yellow for his earlier celebration he’d have been off for his foul on Milner and it’s a different game.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Liverpool penalty appeal #1 v Manchester United

The Reds were aggrieved that a penalty wasn’t awarded when Mohamed Salah went over in the box after tangling with Ashley Young. Young came together with the Egyptian, who to his credit didn’t go looking for the foul, but ref Craig Pawson didn’t feel it warranted a penalty and replays confirmed he was on the money.

Verdict: Correct decision


Liverpool penalty appeal #2 v Manchester United

Andrew Robertson cross was met by the hand of Antonio Valencia. Robertson protested immediately, but slow mo showed Valencia trying to get his arm out of the so it seemed accidental.

Verdict: Correct decision


Liverpool penalty appeal #3 v Manchester United

“It should have been a penalty.” That was Jurgen Klopp’s unequivocal description of Manchester United sub Marouane Fellaini’s challenge on Sadio Mane at Old Trafford. Fellaini seemed to catch the Senegalese striker on the back of the legs after some neat build up play but Craig Pawson was happy to wave play on. While not a stone-waller, we’ve certainly seen them given for less.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Antonio Valencia yellow card v Liverpool

Valencia saw yellow after a high, dangerous foot caught Sadio Mane in the shoulder. Ironically Mane saw red for a challenge not too dissimilar earlier in the season against Manchester City. In this instance though we feel that a booking was the correct call.

Verdict: Correct decision


Jordan Ayew red card v Huddersfield Town

Ayew lasted just 11 minutes of Saturday’s crunch clash and that’s the earliest a player has seen red in the Premier League this season. Was it warranted? Absolutely. It’s a dangerous lunge on Jonathan Hogg and one which left ref Michael Oliver with no other option.

Verdict: Correct decision


Anthony Knockaert red card v Everton

Knockaert was dismissed by referee Roger East during the second half of Brighton’s 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park for a two-footed tackle on Leighton Baines, who fortunately escaped unhurt. If Baines’ leg had been planted however there is every possibility that Knockaert would have broken it. Truly pathetic challenge which seemed to stem from the Brighton man catching a ball in the face just moments before.

Verdict: Correct decision


Watford penalty v Arsenal

It wasn’t a vintage Arsenal display by any means despite the full-time result and Watford were afforded a route back into proceedings when Ainsley Maitland-Niles blocked Roberto Pereyra’s run into the box – a “very generous” decision, according to Arsene Wenger. Subsequent replays confirmed Maitland-Niles had stuck out a leg and it looked the right call.

Verdict: Correct decision


Bournemouth disallowed goal v Tottenham

Huge decision on the south coast when, with Spurs 2-1 up, the Cherries were convinced striker Callum Wilson had restored parity midway through the second half when he netted from close range following a towering header from Steve Cook. Mike Dean however immediately signalled for a foul, with replays showing the faintest of touches by Wilson on Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez. Wilson himself said afterwards of the decision “It’s soft. It’s a man’s game”. And to be fair we think he has a point.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Team most likely to feel brassed off award


All told Liverpool will argues that on another day they might have had three penalties against bitter north-west rivals Manchester United. They didn’t get any and despite bossing the second half at Old Trafford fell to a defeat that now leaves them five points adrift of the Red Devils.


Stonewall decision of the week

Knockaert red card

It was a moment of madness from the Brighton man on Merseyside and Knockeart’s late red card now means he will miss their crunch FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United next weekend. The way he jumped in on Baines left the home crowd baying for blood and gave the referee no alternative.


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