Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 26

Date published: Monday 15th February 2016 2:49

Mark Clattenburg: Awarded Tottenham controversial penalty against Manchester City

Arsenal, Leicester City and Manchester City all suffered from major incorrect decisions on Sunday, 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 26

Sunderland penalty appeals v Manchester United: Sunderland twice appealed for a penalty against Manchester United, first when a Wahbi Khazri stuck the arm of Morgan Schneiderlin and later when John O’Shea’s flicked header hit the hands of Wayne Rooney in front of his face. The second appeal got the panel talking, but ultimately nobody felt a penalty should have been awarded. Verdict: Correct decisions

Watford penalty v Crystal Palace: These decisions are always controversial, purely because so many players seem to escape punishment for holding opponents in the box. On this occasion, however, there was no doubt that Mile Jedinak was the guilty party as he held on to and dragged down Troy Deeney inside the area. Only one person made a case for play being waved on. Verdict: Correct decision

Pape Souare red card v Watford: It certainly didn’t take long to make a decision on this one – it was an awful challenge from Souare on Valon Behrami that was quite rightly punished with a red card. Verdict: Correct decision

Southampton’s disallowed goal v Swansea City: It is regularly said that goalkeepers get too much protection from referees, and there was an element of that at the Liberty Stadium, with Lukasz Fabianski arguably running into Jose Fonte rather than the other way around when dropping the ball. However, the fact that he did have the ball in his hands before the collision convinced the panel that it was just about right to blow up. Verdict: Correct decision

Swansea City penalty appeal v Southampton: There was another big call for referee Jonathan Moss to make in the final minute when Alberto Paloschi went down under a challenge from Maya Yoshida, but all but one member of the panel felt it was a coming together rather than a foul by the Southampton defender. Verdict: Correct decision

Newcastle United penalty appeal v Chelsea: It’s unlikely it would have changed the outcome of the game, so bad were Newcastle, but everyone on the panel agreed they should have been awarded penalty when Cesc Fabregas stood on the back of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s ankle with the score at 3-0. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Arsenal penalty appeal v Leicester City: Saturday was relatively free of refereeing drama, but there was a season’s worth in one game at Emirates Stadium. Martin Atkinson’s first big decision came when N’Golo Kante moved his arm to stop Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from knocking a ball past him in the box. Four out of five on the panel were convinced it was deliberate and so should have been a penalty. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Leicester City penalty v Arsenal: Wes Morgan could have given away a free-kick just prior to this incident, but we can only rule on the penalty call itself. It was a spot-kick ‘won’ by Jamie Vardy, but Nacho Monreal stuck out a leg and didn’t get the ball, allowing the Leicester striker to engineer contact just as 99 per cent of players would have done in the same situation. In this day and age, it was a penalty. Verdict: Correct decision

Leicester City penalty appeal v Arsenal: Riyad Mahrez felt he should have won a second penalty for Leicester when he went down under a challenge from Monreal early in the second half, but nobody on the panel felt there was enough contact in this instance to warrant another spot-kick. Verdict: Correct decision

Danny Simpson red card v Arsenal: This was undoubtedly the toughest call of the weekend to make, with Simpson shown two yellow cards in quick succession for fouls which Claudio Ranieri described as “normal”. All agreed the Leicester defender was silly to pull back Olivier Giroud having been booked minutes earlier, but consensus was also that there’d have been no complaints had Simpson escaped a yellow card for either of the fouls. In a high-tempo match of 19 fouls, a three-to-two majority ruled Atkinson acted too hastily in sending off a player guilty of only three infringements in total. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Danny Drinkwater avoiding red card v Arsenal: While Leicester have reason to feel hard done by, the truth is that whichever side lost the game on Sunday was likely to end up complaining about decisions. Even if Simpson was unfortunate in seeing red, Danny Drinkwater undoubtedly should have done for a high tackle on Aaron Ramsey. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Aston Villa penalty appeal v Liverpool: There were some suggestions that Idrissa Gueye may have been held back by Alberto Moreno when trying to reach a loose ball inside the penalty area, but nobody on the panel saw any sort of infringement. Verdict: Correct decision

Ashley Westwood avoiding red card v Liverpool: Westwood was booked for a hefty late challenge on Divock Origi but could easily have been sent off. Consensus on the panel was that it fell somewhere in the ‘orange’ category, with only one really adamant a red should have been shown. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Yaya Toure avoiding red card v Tottenham: It was quite remarkable that Toure was not booked in Sunday’s game at the Etihad Stadium having committed two fouls within 21 minutes that were both far more serious than Danny Simpson’s. We can only rule on the incidents individually, though, and neither warranted a straight red. Verdict: Correct decision

Tottenham penalty v Manchester City: Of all the contentious penalties given for handballs, the one Tottenham got on Sunday is right up there with the dodgiest of the lot. Nobody on the panel could even say for certain whether the ball hit Raheem Sterling’s arm, but even if it did, none of us could understand what convinced Mark Clattenburg to point to the spot. It was one of the more bizarre decisions we’ve seen in a long time. Verdict: Incorrect decision

 

For and Against

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

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