Norwich City, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Chelsea were hard done by over the weekend, according to our Ref Review panel.
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.
Liverpool penalty appeal v Norwich City: Liverpool were awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the box when Sebastien Bassong pulled Roberto Firmino’s shirt, but replays showed the initial contact was made just inside of the area. However, only one member of the panel felt it was enough of a pull to even warrant a foul. Verdict: Correct decision
Norwich City penalty appeal v Liverpool: Another incident just inside the box saw James Milner escape punishment for barging into the back of Steven Naismith. Nobody could quite understand how it wasn’t a penalty. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Norwich City penalty v Liverpool: A penalty was eventually awarded when Alberto Moreno tripped Naismith in the box. He had two attempts at it, just to make sure. Verdict: Correct decision
Dele Alli avoiding red card v Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew accused Alli of stamping on Yohan Cabaye before scoring his wonder goal in Tottenham’s 3-1 win at Selhurst Park, but it was accidental and certainly not worthy of a red card. Verdict: Correct decision
Connor Wickham avoiding red card v Tottenham: Wickham on the other hand was extremely fortunate that referee Martin Atkinson did not see him swing an elbow at Jan Vertonghen as the two jostled at a corner kick. Wickham is now facing a retrospective three-match ban for violent conduct. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Southampton penalty appeal v Manchester United: After being penalised for a tug on Aleksandar Mitrovic recently, there were suggestions that Chris Smalling was fortunate not to give away another penalty for pulling the shirt of Virgil van Dijk on Saturday. Nobody on our panel shared that view, however, seeing nothing out of the ordinary. Verdict: Correct decision
Billy Jones avoiding red card v Bournemouth: Junior Stanislav had to be substituted following a nasty scissor-like challenge from Billy Jones which was punished by a yellow card but should have, in the unaminous opinion of the panel, seen the Sunderland man sent off. Verdict: Incorrect decision.
Watford first goal v Newcastle United: There were suggestions that Odion Ighalo may have been offside when running on to Etienne Capoue’s pass to put Watford ahead against Newcastle, but no replay was conclusive, leading us to side with the attacking side. Verdict: Correct decision
Aston Villa penalty appeal v West Brom: It was hard to know what referee Robert Madley saw – or didn’t see, more to the point – when he failed to point to the penalty spot despite Jordan Ayew clearly being taken out by Jonas Olsson. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Manchester City penalty v West Ham: There was no debate whatsoever about this one, with Carl Jenkinson correctly penalised for clumsily taking down Sergio Aguero. Verdict: Correct decision
Martin Demichelis avoiding red card v West Ham: Unlike Per Mertesacker the following day, Demichelis escaped with only a yellow card for bringing down a forward – in this case Michail Antonio – running through on goal. In this case, with Antonio running wide and Nicolas Otamendi chasing back to cover, we felt the referee made the right call. Verdict: Correct decision
Swansea City penalty v Everton: This one was an equally easy call, with Tim Howard swinging for the ball but instead tripping Andre Ayew to concede a penalty which Gylfi Sigurdsson converted. Verdict: Correct decision
Per Mertesacker red card v Chelsea: Arsene Wenger described Diego Costa as “clever” in getting Mertesacker sent off, but in reality the Frenchman should have complained about his defender’s stupidity in making a challenge which was always going to lead to a red card. Verdict: Correct decision
Chelsea penalty appeal v Arsenal: Cesc Fabregas said he’s given up being surprised after being denied a penalty when his run was blocked by Laurent Koscielny. Guus Hiddink was less sure, and our panel was also split, but three to two thought it was a blatant enough body check to warrant a spot-kick. Verdict: Incorrect decision
For and Against
|= Man Utd||Six||One||+5|
|4. Man City||Eight||Four||+4|
|7. Aston Villa||Four||Two||+2|
|= Crystal Palace||Two||Two||0|
|17. West Brom||Five||Nine||-4|
|= West Ham||Two||Eight||-6|