Ref Review: The controversial decisions from matchday 12

Date published: Tuesday 22nd November 2016 11:17

Antonio Valencia, Nacho Monreal: Did the ref get it right?

Our panel discuss several highly-contested decisions in the Premier League this weekend, with controversial incidents in the Man Utd v Arsenal game and Southampton v Liverpool featuring.


Manchester United penalty appeal v Arsenal

Hands down the biggest call of the weekend and one that divided fans and pundits alike. Antonio Valencia burst into the box in the first half at Old Trafford and went down as a struggling Nacho Monreal reached across him. Nothing doing, according to ref Andre Marriner. The Stretford End booed the ref long and loud at both half-time and full-time while United legend Ryan Giggs claimed: “It was a penalty, just. I shouted penalty at the time and even though I think it’s soft, he’s got the wrong side of him.”

However replays suggest while Monreal was possibly asking for bother putting an arm out in the area after being nutmegged, Valencia had lost his footing and was already on the way down. Marriner was ideally placed to make what was a game-changing call. Tellingly while Jose Mourinho was apoplectic with rage at the time afterwards the Portuguese commented that “I know that it is or isn’t a penalty, I watch a few times but don’t want to say what I think and I want to reaffirm that the referee did his best.”

VerdictCorrect decision


Matteo Darmian possible second yellow card v Arsenal

Another big call and in hindsight Darmian has been a lucky boy. Having already been booked in the game he went in late with studs showing on Carl Jenkinson. The ref blew for a free-kick and a further yellow card looked a racing certainty but Marriner didn’t go to his pocket.

Darmian’s earlier booking for a ‘foul’ on Theo Walcott (where the contact was minimal to say the least) was definitely harsh but it was a crude lunge on Jenkinson that was 100% a booking.

Pundits afterwards who claimed that justice was done due to the fact Darmian stayed on the pitch due to the Walcott booking being harsh were missing the point. Two wrongs don’t make a right Mr Marriner!

Verdict Incorrect decision


Tottenham penalty v West Ham

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A potentially seismic moment in Spurs’ season this. Having equalised to make it 2-2 with just a minute left Tottenham looked to be heading for a fifth Premier League draw in a row. Enter Harvard Nordtveit. Deep into injury-time the Norwegian slid in on Heung-Min Son and in such situations if you don’t take the ball cleanly you are bang in bother.

Nordtveit clearly upended Song and ref Mike Dean didn’t hesitate in pointing to the spot, from where Harry Kane blasted Spurs to victory.

Verdict Correct decision


Bournemouth penalty appeal against Stoke City

Put simply, Roger East has had a mare here. After 11 minutes of this high octane clash Callum Wilson is through on goal before being sent sprawling in the box by a clumsy Ryan Shawcross challenge. It’s an absolute nailed-on penno. So glaringly obvious it is laughable (unless you follow the Cherries). Incredibly East waved play on. Shawcross gets none of the ball and takes Wilson out. Blatant. Absolutely blatant. Indeed, when Stoke City’s official Twitter feed admits it should have been a penalty, it reeks you plenty regarding just how awful this decision was.

Verdict Incorrect decision


Papy red card v Hull City

Djilobodji Sunderland

Sunderland enjoyed a magnificent day in beating relegation rivals Hull City at the Stadium of Light, a day that was only marred by Senegal defender Djilobodji’s red card late on. He can have no complaints about either booking, the second in the dying embers of the game after a clumsy challenge on Jarrod Brown leaving whistle blower Lee Mason with no option.

Verdict Correct decision


Liverpool penalty appeal against Southampton

Mark Clattenburg

Roberto Firmino gets away after a ball is looped into the area at St Mary’s and Virgil Van Dijk appears to tug at his shirt before the Brazilian schemer goes to ground. However ref Mark Clattenburg waves play on leaving Firminho incensed.

There is debate as it whether the offence took place inside or outside the box but Van Dijk should have been penalised. If it was outside its a free-kick and probable red card. Inside and it’s yellow and a spot kick. Either way the big Dutchman has had some love off Clattenburg here.

Verdict Incorrect decision

Swansea penalty v Everton


The influential Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson was a constant thorn in Everton’s side at Goodison and incredibly he’s been involved in over half of Swansea’s league goals this season. He won (and duly dispatched) a penalty after 41 minutes after Phil Jagielka – who may or may not have still been feeling the effects of a heavy night on the tiles with Wayne Rooney last week – bundled him over in the area.

Verdict Correct decision


Danny Drinkwater alleged elbow during Watford v Leicester City game

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After 67 minutes of Watford’s 2-1 Saturday win at Vicarage Road the England midfielder appeared to elbow Valon Behrami. Ref Neil Swarbrick was literally just yards away but appeared to miss the incident altogether.

Just two minutes before this though Swarbrick had cautioned Drinkwater for a foul on Behrami. If the official says he didn’t see the second incident it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Drinkwater – a hero in the Foxes incredible run to the title last season – could face retrospective action and a possible violent conduct charge.

The video evidence suggests such action may be imminent as replays suggest this looks a bit worse than ‘handbags’.

Verdict Incorrect decision


Week 12 awards

Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Has to be Bournemouth. They may have eventually come away from Stoke City with a hugely-valuable three points but if Callum Wilson lives to be 100 he will probably never understand how he wasn’t awarded a penalty at the weekend.

Stonewall decision of the week

Tottenham’s penalty winner against West Ham. Just what was Harvard Nordtveit thinking? No wonder his performance was described as a disaster in our ratings after the game. Games are won and lost on these moments and the Norwegian schemer badly let the Hammers down.

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Home Forums Ref Review: The controversial decisions from matchday 12

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  foxyfoxes 2 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    James Marshment

    Our panel analyse the highly-contested decisions in the Premier League this weekend, with Man Utd v Arsenal among the main discussions.

    [See the full post at: Ref Review: The controversial decisions from matchday 12]



    Funny how Darmian is highlighted as being a second yellow that should have happened and yet Ramsey should have had three yellows.

    As for the Valencia pen. If Monreal does that and Valencia goes down like that anywhere else on the pitch it is a deadset foul everyday of the year. Yet for some reason, in the box it is nothing. Hammers got a pen for something a lot more conspicuous and no one is arguing that



    The Valencia Incident for Me was a Penalty, Yes Valencia looked as though He was already on His way down but Monreal didn’t help Himself by the way He went in to challenge and there was contact even though it looked a soft One.

    On the Firmino One, That too should have been a Penalty as Van Dijk clearly pulled His Shirt but Maybe the Ref didn’t have a good view of it although it seems the Linesman could have had a better view and should have Flagged had He seen it.

    How Shawcross got away with His Challenge only the Ref and Linesman know, He never made any contact with the Ball whatsoever and it was a Clear Penalty.

    On the other Incidents apart from the Drinkwater Elbow(Which I didn’t see Myself) They all seemed to be correct decisions although One that hasn’t been mentioned was Winston Reid’s Second Yellow Card which I thought looked a bit Harsh as He and Harry Kane were both going up for the Ball and I don’t believe there was any intent from Reid to Hurt Kane,Just an Honest Challenge between Two Players.


    It’s funny that you say “two wrongs don’t make a right” when Marriner didn’t give the 2nd yellow to Darmian even though his first yellow card was undoubtedly harsh but then, as pointed out by foxyfoxes in the posts here, the Monreal rugby tackle (because that’s what it was, no matter how you glam it up) would be a 100% foul anywhere else on the pitch but not in the box it seems.

    I think instead of “two wrongs dont make a right” you should say “wronging United is the right thing to do”.



    sounds right to me 🙂

    lets keep it up!


    Monreal gets nutmegged, panics and throws himself at Valencia…All you say is “he put his arm across” and “Valencia already lost his footing”…pathetic.
    Monreal throws himself (at this point way behind Valencia without a chance in hell of reaching the ball), puts his arm across and as he is falling to the ground puts his weight on Valencias left leg because he stuck his arm out thus dragging Valencia down With him…You deem this as ok defending and this “panel” should be embarrased calling themselves journalists…



    I’m a complete neutral, in that I hate both teams equally and when I saw the Monreal incident it was a clear penalty for me. I can’t quite understand how any neutral observer can think otherwise. We’ve seen a number of arm wrestles in the box already clamped down on this season with pens given, Janssen v Huth and Janssen v Hammers to think of a few, but there have been many others that many would think harsh. However Monreal is two feet behind Valencia throws his arm in front while diving onto Valencia and this is deemed no pen from you experts. This is more clear cut than any of the incidents I highlighted above.

    Why do you not mention the three yellow card offences committed by Ramsey, yet mention the Darmian incident. The first yellow he got was soft, but the second incident was def a yellow, but Marriner showed he was reffing the consequences not the incident. He knew Darmian’s first yellow was harsh so held back on the second. Same for the pen, anywhere else on the field he would have blown a foul.


    The only purpose this Marshment fellow serves on this website is to post useless articles mostly aimed at riling up supporters. There is no effort to produce any original or insightful content.

    I don’t read any of his articles and I have not read this one either, they are a waste of space. I would advise fellow posters to ignore them.



    James, I like the idea of this weekly review, however week after week it really is a very amateurish and brief delivery of a concept that could be very very good. This is an opportunity, if delivered well with analytics and references to previous similar incidences involving referee decisions made during the season to hold the referees to account. After all the referees are only here because of us the supporters. When I look at a controversial decision, I nearly always refer back to other similar decisions in the season, similar to how law is practised. If you guys really went to work on dissecting these incidences and making eferences as I stated this could be a very powerful article. Instead it comes across as a couple of blokes looking at one replay per incident over their coffee break with tea and biscuits

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