Ref Review: Rashford’s ‘good dive’; Kevin no Friend to Boro

Date published: Monday 1st May 2017 1:00

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.

Danny Drinkwater yellow card v West Brom

On reflection Drinkwater was a little lucky to only see yellow after steaming in two-footed on Nacer Chadli.

The studs were up and he absolutely clattered poor Chadli. Ref Mark Clattenburg instantly produced a yellow but it ticked all the boxes for a straight red.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

West Brom penalty appeal v Leicester City

Mark Clattenburg was officiating his last ever Premier League game on Saturday and may just have got his last big call as a top flight official wrong.

Striker Salomon Rondon was looking to latch onto a long ball over the top when he was floored in the box by Robert Huth, who definitely nudged him in the back.

The Baggies striker didn’t make as much a deal of it as the home fans, but Clattenburg was unimpressed and waved away the appeals.

It looked a curious call in real time and slow mo replays confirmed Huth definitely got away with one at the Hawthorns.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Sunderland penalty appeal v Bournemouth

The Black Cats, who had failed to scored in eight of their last nine games, were desperate on Wearside but Jermain Defoe’s appeal for handball after shooting against the arm of Simon Francis was certainly more in hope than expectation.

It may have hit his arm but the shot was from such close range Francis knew nothing about it and Stuart Attwell was perfectly placed to say no dice.

Verdict: Correct decision

Harry Arter yellow card v Sunderland

Arter was booked for some handbags after reacting angrily to a poor challenge by Fabio Borini, who hacked down Lewis Cook.

This inspired a boatload of pushing and shoving for various outfield players with Arter in the thick of it.

It was his tenth booking of the season and he can have few complaints after a loss of control.

Verdict: Correct decision

Southampton penalty v Hull City

The Saints were given a cracking opportunity to settle this contest when Alfred N’Diaye bundled over Maya Yoshida in the area in stoppage time.

The ball was swung over hopefully from the left and N’Diaye put an arm out as he tussled with Yoshida, who went down in the area.

The normally unflappable Marco Silva was livid but the call by Mike Dean was fair enough.

Verdict: Correct decision

Crystal Palace penalty appeal v Burnley

The Eagles were 1-0 down and pushing for an equaliser against Burnley with just over ten minutes left at Selhurst Park when sub Jon Flanagan clattered the back of Wilfried Zaha’s leg as the Palace winger headed for goal.

Bobby Madley was having none of it, a non decision that left big Sam Allardyce a bubbling, seething mess in the dugout.

“Flanagan took his heel and it’s a 100 per cent penalty,” Big Sam raged afterwards. It did look one.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Tottenham penalty v Arsenal

White Hart Lane, staging its last ever north London derby, was already jumping after Dele Alli had put Spurs 1-0 up just minutes before. Then Harry Kane bursts into the box and is upended by a clumsy Gabriel challenge.

Ref Michael Oliver took his time before casually pointing to the spot. Arsenal were furious but it was a clear infringement.

Verdict: Correct decision

Manchester United penalty v Swansea

Huge decision at Old Trafford at the end of a first half that Swansea controlled for the most part.

Marcus Rashford was slipped the ball in the area and just beat Lukasz Fabianski to the ball. Rashford went down like he’d been shot but there didn’t seem to be much contact at all, with replays showing the stopper actually pulling his arms away just before the apparent contact.

Neil Swarbrick had a long hard look at it before pointing at the spot. Swansea were understandably furious and several players followed him down the tunnel at half-time, presumably to offer some constructive criticism.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Manchester City penalty v Middlesbrough

Absolute scenes on Teesside when Kevin Friend pointed to the spot after the most theatrical of tumbles in the area by Leroy Sane.

Boro were 1-0 up and defending for their lives when Sane went over after clashing with Marten De Roon. There was minimal contact and that’s why half s dozen Boro players accosted Friend after his controversial call.

It looked like Sane was already falling before the contact, which was minimal at best. Poor decision.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Swansea City

The Swans were excellent early on at Old Trafford, putting in a magnificent collective shift and in truth were unlucky not to be in front when Swarbrick pointed to the penalty spot after Rashford hit the deck in the area.

The England youngster managed to dangle a leg and made contact with the Swansea ‘keeper, rather than the other way round. When all is said and done it was a dive. A good dive, but a dive nonetheless.

Stonewall decision of the week

Tottenham penalty v Arsenal

Six goals in five Premier League outings now for Kane, who is the first English striker since Alan Shearer to score more than 20 goals in three consecutive seasons.

Arsenal protested against the penalty award but it was a clumsy bit of play in the box by Gabriel, who left Mr Oliver with no choice.

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