Ref Review: The controversial decisions from week 34

Date published: Monday 18th April 2016 8:02

Jamie Vardy: Points the finger at referee Jon Moss

Jamie Vardy: Points the finger at referee Jon Moss

Our panel debate several highly-dubious decisions across the Premier League this weekend, with Jamie Vardy’s red card and Leicester’s last-gasp penalty coming under the spotlight.

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 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.

Sunderland penalty v Norwich: Fabio Borini earned Sunderland a vital penalty in the relegation six-pointer at Norwich when Andre Wisdom clumsily planted his studs on the foot of the Italian forward. The full-back got ever-such a slight touch on the ball, but took a big chunk out of his opponent’s foot. The decision looked a poor one at first glance, but replays showed Andre Marriner had got the decision absolutely spot on after what can only be described as a seriously reckless challenge – and made a mockery of BT Sports’ analyst Chris Sutton’s futile cries that the official got this wrong. Verdict: Correct decision

Possible foul in build-up to second Sunderland goal v Norwich: Jan Kirchoff had an excellent game for Sunderland, but he can count himself lucky not to have been pulled back for what we believe was a foul when dispossessing Sebastien Bassong and then setting Borini on his way to set up Jermain Defoe for a tap-in. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Dieumerci Mbokani penalty appeal v Sunderland: The Congolese striker felt he was pulled to the ground by Younes Kaboul when tussling with the Sunderland man for the ball, but the Norwich loanee was already going to ground when the Black Cats defender made contact. Verdict: Correct decision

Possible foul in build-up to third Newcastle goal v Swansea: Federico Fernandez felt he’d been wrestled to the ground in a challenge with Aleksander Mitrovic, but the Serbian was simply stronger than his opponent, and the referee was right to let play continue as his reverse pass set up Andros Townsend for Newcastle’s third. Verdict: Correct decision

Disallowed Chelsea goal v Manchester City: Diego Costa had the ball in the net after beating Joe Hart, but was pulled back for offside. An easy one for our panel to vote on, with all in agreement with the referee. Verdict: Correct decision

Possible offside in build-up to second Manchester City goal v Chelsea: Sergio Aguero proved the difference between the sides on Saturday evening, but there were suggestions his second goal might have been chalked off for offside when running on to Samir Nasri’s pass. But replays showed the officials had got this spot on with Bransilav Ivanovic playing him on. Verdict: Correct decision

Pablo Zabaleta red card escape v Manchester City: The Man City full-back was already on a yellow card when he cynically body-checked Pedro’s run down the left wing. Four of our five-strong panel felt the Argentinian had a fortunate escape and the referee got this wrong. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Chelsea penalty appeal v Manchester City: Kenedy felt he should have won a spot-kick when he showed great skill to move into the box, but Kevin De Bruyne capped an excellent return to the Bridge with his tackle on the Brazilian perfectly executed. Verdict: Correct decision

Thibaut Courtois sending off v Manchester City: The Belgian was given his marching orders after dashing from his six-yard box to upend Fernandinho in the box. The penalty was cast iron, and for denying the Brazilian a certain goal with a professional foul, the straight red was also the right call. Verdict: Correct decision

First West Brom penalty v Watford: Saido Berahino was brought down in the area by Heurelho Gomes after attempting to round the Watford keeper. An easy decision for Michael Oliver to make – and an even easier one for our panel to agree with him on. Verdict: Correct decision

Second West Brom penalty v Watford: Etienne Capoue was penalised for bringing Stephane Sessegnon down in the box, but this one looked a harsh decision to us on first verdict. Replays showed there was minimal contact between the players and the Albion attacker had pulled the wool over the official’s eyes, somewhat. As a footnote, justice prevailed by what was an outstanding low save from Gomes. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Possible Southampton red card v Everton: Jose Fonte pulled Kevin Mirallas back when running through on goal and we’re not quite sure how referee Craig Pawson missed this one. As the last man, the Saints defender had to see red. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Leicester penalty appeal v West Ham No 1: Angelo Ogbonna had Jamie Vardy in a headlock and could, and should have conceded a spot-kick. But Vardy’s decision to wrestle his opponent back likely meant the referee judged it six of one, half a dozen of the other. However….Verdict: Incorrect decision

West Ham penalty appeal v Leicester: Robert Huth was lucky not to concede a penalty when he caught Winston Reid with his forearm to block his opponent reaching a set-piece delivery into the box. The ball ended up in Kasper Schmeichel’s grasp from which Leicester quickly countered and scored the opener. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Jamie Vardy red card v West Ham: The Leicester striker, already on a yellow card for a foul on Cheikhou Kouyate, was given his second caution of the match for simulation in trying to win his side a penalty. While there may have been a slight tangle of legs with Ogbonna, we feel referee Jonathan Moss was absolutely correct to book the Foxes striker, who paid a heavy price for trying to con the official. Verdict: Correct decision

West Ham penalty v Leicester: After plenty of argy-bargy ahead of a corner into the box, Moss awarded the Hammers a spot-kick when he adjudged Wes Morgan to have pushed Winston Reid in the area. The Foxes skipper, despite his protestations, can have absolutely no complaints, and although replays showed Reid certainly made the most of the contact, the fact that he’d both pulled and pushed by his opponent ensured the ref had little choice. Amazingly, the penalty was the first West Ham had won in the Premier League away from home in five-and-a-half years. Verdict: Correct decision

Leicester penalty appeal v West Ham No 2: Robert Huth felt he should have been given a spot-kick when he was wrestled to the ground by that man Ogbonna again. It must have been the Hammers defender’s lucky day, as for the second time in the match, our panel all agreed he’d gotten away with one. If the Reid incident at the other end was a penalty, then we felt, this should have been too. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Leicester penalty v West Ham: Leicester did eventually win a spot-kick they probably felt was deserved when Jeff Schlupp went down in the area under a challenge from Andy Carroll. While there was a coming together between the players, the Hammers man was merely stronger than his opponent and contact did not warrant a spot-kick. Maybe the ref had previous decisions on his mind when he pointed to the spot, but two (or three) wrongs certainly don’t make a right. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Possible Arsenal penalty v Crystal Palace: Damien Delaney had his arms round Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny in the box when a set-piece was delivered into the box. While the Gunners star did not make much of an appeal, much like the challenges in the Leicester game, we felt he’d impeded his opponent enough and prevented him from attacking the ball. Therefore…. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Bournemouth penalty appeal v Liverpool No 1: Josh King thought he should have had a penalty when Liverpool skipper Lucas handled in the area. While the ball did strike his hand, it was a clear case of ball to hand, not hand to ball. Therefore, the ref was absolutely right, our panel all felt. Verdict: Correct decision

Bournemouth penalty appeal v Liverpool No 2: A similar incident to the first appeal, this time involving Lewis Grabban and Kolo Toure. However, on this occasion, we felt the veteran Reds defender made an obvious movement with his arm to prevent his opponent getting an advantage. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Bournemouth penalty appeal v Liverpool No 3: Brad Smith looked to have got away with one when he appeared to use his arm to control the ball in the box. Safe to say as well that the Aussie got away with one here. (Un)fair dinkum. Verdict: Incorrect decision

For and Against

Team For Against Total For/Against
1. Liverpool Fourteen Six +8
2.Leicester Seventeen Ten +7
= Man United Nine Two +7
4. Man City Twelve Six +6
5. Aston Villa Seven Two +5
6. Sunderland Nine Five +4
7. Tottenham Eight Five +3
8. Crystal Palace Seven Five +2
9. Everton Four Four 0
= Stoke Seven Seven 0
11. Watford Five Six -1
12. Chelsea Nine Eleven -2
13. Norwich Four Seven -3
=West Brom Seven Ten -3
15. Arsenal Ten Fourteen -4
= Newcastle Five Nine -4
= Southampton Seven Eleven -4
18. Swansea Five Eleven -6
19. Bournemouth Five Twelve -7
20. West Ham Six Seventeen -11

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Home Forums Ref Review: The controversial decisions from week 34

This topic contains 11 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Paxman 10 months, 1 week ago.

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    James Marshment

    Our panel discuss several highly-dubious decisions across the Premier League this weekend, with Leicester’s clash with West Ham featuring.

    [See the full post at: Ref Review: The controversial decisions from week 34]



    I dont agree that Vardy had to be sent off as in those situations and in that speed players do fall over and there was some contact from both players, what he should not have done was fall in a theatrical manner as that gave the impression he was diving, Raniera himself said Vardy will not simply dive and we all know Raniera is a very honest man. It was obviously not a penalty but neither should a yellow card been given particularly as the ref knew it was his second yellow, even the first yellow was harsh.



    How on gods green earth is the Toure incident a Pen?, would have been a ridiculously harsh decision. Try harder TT you’re getting boring.



    i dont know of all the handball shouts in that game that was the most convincing for a pen it really coulda gone either way and if it was against your team i bet youd be unhappy, but also unhappy if given against your team the other way!



    Be interesting to see a referee’s league table next year however as I said previously, a incorrect decision should only be decided when the entire panel agree otherwise its just opinions again.


    where are the arsenal fans that are normally in uproar over these articles – surely somebody glanced sideways at an arsenal player and should have been sent off? 🙂



    You forgot to mention that Vardy shouldnt have been on a yellow card in the first place. His tackle completely missed Kouyate, who then ran into Vardys legs (similar to Vardys none penalty) and Kouate then rolled around faking injury. So maybe Kouyate should have been given a yellow? As for Toure. The ball bounced up 3 feet after being kicked against his foot. Hardly enough time to react deliberately or not so. Was it deliberate? NO. So was it a penalty? NO.



    Vardy didn’t do him self or his team any favour, and what makes his decision even worse than the actual act of diving is that he was already on yellow, his team was 1-0 up and playing well. And more, he had half step advantage over the defender on the ball and might have been able to bang at the near post, square the ball or get a ”real foul” in the process of trying.


    Vardy’s first yellow card was questionable but I have no idea how some people are defending his ridiculous dive. He made a great effort to engineer contact and then exaggerated the contact to the absolute maximum with his theatrical fall, somehow managing to get his entire body horizontal to the ground.

    That was one of the most perfect examples of what referees should be looking out for in terms of simulation. He deserves that yellow.



    Vardy’s dive was identical to the one against Rafael in the bizarre 5-3 last season. He slows down to wait for the defender to get tight, and then he bends his run so his legs tangle with his opposite number. It’s a clever dive, as it’s not a leap over thin air like a signature Ashley Young simulation, but he’s got previous for it, and he’s tried it many times since. Glad he finally got sent packing for it.



    Bournemouth Penalty Appeal number 2 – Something both your panel and MOTD2 failed to mention when discussing this one was the fact that it was Grabben’s arm that knocked the ball onto Kolo’s arm, something both men confirmed after the incident. The ball popped up and Grabben knocked it forward with his left arm, watch it again and watch their reactions after when they are laughing together. So that it 2 extra on the decisions for Liverpool in the last two weeks. You really need to get better at analysing these decisions if you are going to have this feature. Lucky you lots aren’t refs as you can’t even get close with the aid of replays 🙂



    Hatters – Would never defend Vardy in respect of the dive, it definitely was and rightly was a yellow, but the first yellow was not questionable it was laughable, if that was a yellow card then ever single foul has to be a yellow card.

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