Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 23

Date published: Monday 25th January 2016 5:49

Mark Clattenburg: Not a hit with Premier League fans

Mark Clattenburg: Not a hit with Premier League fans

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.

Week 23

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 conductVerdict: 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

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

Related Articles

Your Say

Home Forums Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 23

This topic contains 17 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  taxidriverlfc 12 months ago.

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Author
  • #818357

    Mark Holmes

    Norwich City, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Chelsea were hard done by over the weekend, according to our Ref Review panel.

    [See the full post at: Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 23]



    Have to say I am surprised the panel felt the foul on Antonio of West Ham wasn’t a sending off but Mertesakers was. No one would have got back to cover for City and Costa ran 3 meters afterwards before throwing himself theatrically to the floor.



    Have to say I love decision on Firmino’s shirt pull in the area not being enough of a shirt pull to warrant a foul. Homzy can you please give us the level of a shirt pull when it becomes a foul, I mean exactly how much are you allowed to pull someone shirt before it becomes a foul?



    Whil’st I thought Both sides could easily have had Penalties for the Shirt Pull on Firmino and Milner’s Barge on Naismith,There is No mention of Naismith’s reckless challenge on Lucas after about 5 Minutes,If that had happened a bit later on in the game then Naismith could have seen Red but the Ref didn’t even produce any Card whatsoever.



    Wow TT I am actually surprised. You have found a whole new level of bias against Liverpool. Firstly Howard Webb (remember the guy who was the number 1 ref) watched replays and said it was definitely a penalty against Firmino. (but I guess your panel does know better than a paid official) Secondly you have totally disregarded the decision where Bassong was clearly offside and challenged the ball from the free-kick. That goal should not have stood and replays again agree with this. So yet another 2 decisions against missed.



    Your panel must be very biased then. Every time Southampton took a corner Smalling grabbed a handful of Van Dijk’s shirt (at least 4 clear instances) plus Long was pushed over in the penalty area in the first half. Serial cheating by Smalling part of what threatens to ruin the game.



    Ianqa. Weird how when Smalling grapples it is “ruining” the game. No mention of when Van Dijk did the same to both Smalling and Fellaini from set pieces.

    How about Shane Long bulldozing Darmian with no intention of playing the ball. Clattered him when he was mid air which is stupidly dangerous, got nothing on the ball and Darmian is reportedly hospitalized with a broken rib and a punctured lung. Ticks all the boxes for a red card; reckless, excessive force, out of control. And the injury caused speaks for itself.

    Nah. That was all fine. But Smalling is ruining football and this article is “biased”. Mental.



    Why don’t you stop this joke feature every week? Your opinions which are mostly wrong don’t matter to anyone – why – well just look at your past comments about referee decisions regarding the Albion – for 7 weeks running you’ve placed every decision as being incorrect which benefits West Brom and every one as being correct that goes against us – with your bias Im glad you’re only a joke article writer – you’d be even worse than REAL referees!!! No way was it a penalty for Villa on Saturday – borrow Klopps new glasses next week!!!



    Either the rules are ridiculous or the panelist decision making is wrong/ biased. On the Merteserker red card, had Costa fallen over in any other part of the field without a touch it would have been deemed a dive; something often vilified in these circles. He goes down without a touch and ostensibly because there was an ‘intention’ to tackle, it becomes a foul and a red card. What makes this any less of a dive??



    Pretty baffled by the Firmino explanation. It was a shirt pull and it was in the box – Penalty end of! I also noticed you didn’t feel the need to mention the penalty Watford should have had against Swansea last Monday for the clear foul by Williams on Ighalo. Surely this should cover all games to be fair!



    ‘Nobody could quite understand how it wasn’t a penalty. Verdict: Correct decision’

    Makes sense!?!?



    Homzy – You have been very quiet on this thread, I am still waiting on the explanation of when a shirt pull becomes a foul?


    Mark Holmes

    I’ve been ‘quiet’ Paxton because I left work immediately after this article was published yesterday. And Tuesdays are my day off, but I’ll reply as the forum-appointed spokesperson on everything anyone disagrees with!

    On the Firmino incident, it was one of several we had a long discussion about this week, but I interviewed Mark Halsey last season and he told me there is an ‘accepted level’ of contact between defenders and strikers. If there wasn’t, there would be a penalty or free-kick given every time a corner or free-kick came in, he said, because of the grappling. Anyone who plays or has played football will also know a striker will hold a defender’s shirt every time he receives the ball with his back to goal. And a defender will almost always have a pull when the striker spins. By the absolute letter of the law, shirt pulling is not allowed, but it all falls under the ‘accepted level’ of contact unless a player is blatantly impeded.

    I remember there being uproar last season when Victor Moses won a penalty for Stoke against Swansea despite his shirt being pulled.

    As you can see from the picture, there is no doubt that Rangel pulled Moses’ shirt yet everyone was complaining that he had dived. Why, because not every shirt pull is a foul. It’s also why we said Smalling on Van Dijk wasn’t a foul. There can’t be many football fans, managers or players in the world that would want incidents like Bassong on Firmino to lead to penalties. You might want that particular one as a Liverpool fan, but imagine the amount that would go against you too. It’d be ridiculous!

    So – apologies for the long rant – but that is why we said it wasn’t a penalty.


    Mark Holmes

    mrwiggly, if we’re so biased against West Brom then why does our table say they are one of the most hard-done by clubs this season?

    I’ll add West Brom and Southampton to the list of teams we’re biased against anyway. We’re really biased against Liverpool, apparently, yet there’s a Newcastle fan on another thread complaining we’re biased towards them. But it’s definitely not the fans that complain about every verdict against their club that are biased. Definitely not.

    jelnam18, it was a foul all day long. It wasn’t even a debate. Has anyone anywhere said it wasn’t a foul?

    Reidy, that’s a typo, thank you.

    Now I’m off to enjoy the rest of my day off and, hopefully, a brilliant evening at Anfield!



    I didn’t even think it was a freekick. Firminho went down easy.

    Still think there is merit in football teams adopting the skintight shirts that rugby wear – to avoid easy shirt pulling, and it would be so obvious when they do as they would have to try hard to get a handful of a tight shirt.

    I’m guessing they won’t introduce them at some clubs as the likes of Lallana and Rooney wouldn’t look to good in them – unless they came with an integral sports bra.



    homzy – I appreciate the explanation. On the point of acceptable levels I think it has more to do with the situation, when the players are jostling in the box to try and get space I think most refs call that as acceptable when there is a bit of a tug, but when a player is trying to accelerate away from another player as Firmino was then I think any kind of tug is not acceptable, this would me my justification for the Penalty, and I think that is why many of the pundits and Howard Webb said it was a penalty. As always these grey areas are about opinions and they are going to differ from one person to another, each to their own 🙂



    Homzy – I also appreciate the response; yet you also skirt the issue that I have raised. The fact that no one has questioned the rationale of the decision does not make it any less ridiculous that it is. There is no question that it was stupid of Merteserker to attempt the challenge; yet the point I am making is that there was NO CONTACT, Costa was not impeded in any way and could very well have continued on his run. Why is this a dive in any other situation but not when someone is ‘simulating contact’ from the last defender? I could rehash cases where you Homzy have harangued players who go down on minimal contact – and rightly so. Why is this not an issue in this particular case? Unless I watched a different game, there was practically no contact in this case.



    The Mertesacker One is a Strange One,Yes there was No Contact on Costa but there was intent to bring Him down hence the Slide Tackle, Costa had No need for the Three Twists and a Pike in going down but what the Hell was Mertesacker doing looking across to the Linesman instead of concentrating on Costa,If He had done that then His challenge on Costa may have ended up a well timed Tackle IMO.Red Card for the intent but Costa was also ‘Clever’ in drawing the challenge IMO.

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)

You must be logged in to reply this topic.