Chelsea, Newcastle United and Swansea City all suffered from incorrect decisions from the officials in the midweek Premier League games.
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.
Manchester United penalty v Newcastle United: This split the panel. Chancel Mbemba’s hands were undoubtedly up and away from his body when a Marouane Fellaini header struck one of them, but how much he knew about it was debatable. It was a decision that went to interpretation of the rules; three out of five on the panel agreed with Mike Dean. Verdict: Correct decision
Newcastle United penalty appeal v Manchester United: Dean further enraged the home fans when Daryl Janmaat went down under a challenge from Jesse Lingard, who undoubtedly took the Newcastle defender’s legs. It should undoubtedly have been a penalty. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Newcastle United penalty v Manchester United: After turning down another half-hearted Jack Colback appeal for a penalty, Dean finally gave Newcastle a spot-kick when Chris Smalling pulled down Aleksandar Mitrovic as a corner kick came in. On first viewing it looked like both players were giving as good as they got, but replays showed that Smalling had grabbed Mitrovic first. It still split the panel, but three out of five sided with the referee. Verdict: Correct decision
Claudio Yacob avoiding red card v Chelsea: Even Tony Pulis admitted Yacob was fortunate when, having already been booked once, he pulled back Oscar and then clashed with Diego Costa. But the West Brom boss has clearly been reading Ref Review, adding: “If you have a look at the stats, I think in the first half of the season we have had more decisions go against us than any other club in the Premier League, so it is nice to get one that goes for us.” Verdict: Incorrect decision
Manchester City penalty appeal v Everton: Manuel Pellegrini said “the whole stadium” could see Manchester City should have had a penalty when John Stones brought down Raheem Sterling, but Roberto Martinez argued the England winger engineered the contact himself. Our panel unanimously agreed with Pellegrini. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Gary O’Neil red card v Stoke City: With Ibrahim Afellay harmlessly shepherding the ball out for a throw-in just inside the Norwich City half, O’Neil inexplicably darted to make a reckless sliding tackle that took out Afellay from behind. The midfielder later apologised, admitting he had made a “big mistake”. Verdict: Correct decision
Jermain Defoe first goal v Swansea City: Defoe left the pitch with the match ball after helping Sunderland to a crucial 4-2 win at the Liberty Stadium, but he was well offside when tapping in his first. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Swansea City penalty v Sunderland: A late replacement for Andre Marriner, rookie Premier League referee Graham Scott had a night to forget. His first mistake came when awarding Swansea a penalty kick after Andre Ayew kicked himself over. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Kyle Naughton red card v Sunderland: Naughton’s studs were undoubtedly showing and high when he won the ball from Yann M’Vila, but he did not come close to hurting the Sunderland midfielder, who had also raised his boot to challenge. Sam Allardyce suggested it might have been a foul, but it certainly wasn’t a red-card offence. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Jermain Defoe second goal v Swansea City: It wasn’t quite such an obvious error from the assistant referee as for Defoe’s first goal, but replays showed Defoe was offside when collecting Adam Johnson’s through-ball to give Sunderland the lead. Verdict: Incorrect decision
For and Against
|= Man Utd||Six||One||+5|
|= Man City||Eight||Four||+4|
|6. Aston Villa||Three||One||+2|
|10. Crystal Palace||One||Two||-1|
|17. West Brom||Four||Eight||-4|
|20. West Ham||Two||Eight||-6|