Ref Review: The controversial decisions from week 29

Date published: Monday 7th March 2016 6:11

Christian Benteke: Won Liverpool's controversial penalty

Christian Benteke: Won Liverpool's controversial penalty

Our panel debate Christian Benteke’s highly-controversial penalty, while red cards for Everton, Arsenal and Southampton also come up for discussion on an action-packed weekend.

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.

Week 29

Francis Coquelin red card v Spurs: The Arsenal midfielder might feel slightly aggrieved about his first caution for handball, but when all things considered, it was probably the right call. His second yellow – for a thoughtless lunge on Harry Kane – was certainly worthy of a caution, so he can have no complaints about the subsequent red. Verdict: Correct decision

Possible offside in build-up to Harry Kane goal v Arsenal: Question marks arose about whether Dele Alli might have been offside in the build-up to Kane’s wonder strike against the Gunners. But replays showed the midfielder bent his run and was played onside by Kieran Gibbs before backheeling the ball to Kane to do the rest. Verdict: Correct decision

Eric Dier possible sending off v Arsenal: The midfielder was correctly cautioned for hauling back Danny Welbeck in the second half, but referee Michael Olivier showed extreme leniency not to rule his second offence – for pulling on Olivier Giroud’s shirt – worthy of a caution. And in our view, the ref got this one wrong. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Watford penalty appeal v Leicester: Nordin Amrabat felt he was impeded by Christian Fuchs in the penalty area, but contact was minimal and the referee was right to allow play to continue. Verdict: Correct decision

Kevin Mirallas red card v West Ham: The Belgian’s first caution by ref Anthony Taylor was highly controversial, with the decision to card him for a dive more than harsh. The Everton star, however, can have little complaints about his second for a lunge on Aaron Cresswell, but the Toffees star will be licking his wounds over the first and will quite rightly feel aggrieved. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Everton penalty v West Ham: Mo Besic danced his way round a few challenges before Alex Song upended him right on the line. However, replays showed the challenge was committed marginally outside the area and the decision – albeit a close one – was (borderline) the wrong one. Verdict: Incorrect decision

West Ham penalty appeal v Everton: Dimitri Payet’s volley struck the arm of Besic, but with the midfielder in close quarters, and ducking beneath his arm to protect himself, it was definitely not deliberate and a clear case of ball to hand. Verdict: Correct decision

Everton penalty appeal v West Ham: With the scores at 2-2, Besic fired a goal-bound shot which appeared to strike the arm of Cheikhou Kouyate, but replays were inconclusive and the ball appeared to strike him around the shoulder area, so the referee just about got this right. Verdict: Correct decision

Man City penalty v Aston Villa: Ciaran Clark was adjudged to have fouled Kelechi Iheanacho in the penalty area and the Villa man did catch the Nigerian’s leg with contact enough to deem the decision right. Verdict: Correct decision

Jose Fonte red card v Sunderland: The Saints skipper was the last man when he impeded Fabio Borini and can have no arguments with being sent for an early shower. Verdict: Correct decision

Swansea penalty appeal v Norwich: Andre Ayew was upended just inside the area by Timm Klose, but referee Craig Pawson allowed play to continue. Looked a poor decision at first viewing and even worse with the benefit of replays. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Chelsea penalty appeal v Stoke: Marc Muniesa appeared to bundle Oscar in the back just inside the area, but contact was not strong enough to warrant a spot-kick and the referee was right to wave play on. Verdict: Correct decision

James Milner red card v Crystal Palace: The ref had little choice but to show the Liverpool man a yellow for his first tackle on Yohan Cabaye and it was a similar story with his second after he caught Wilfried Zaha. Verdict: Correct decision

Possible Papa Souare red card v Liverpool: The Palace man left an imprint on Mamadou Sakho’s leg following a tackle near the touchline. But there’s not enough evidence to conclusively say the challenge deserved a red and was intentional, let alone done with malice. Verdict: Correct decision

Liverpool penalty v Crystal Palace: Christian Benteke went down under a ‘challenge’ from Damien Delaney in the fifth minute of injury time. A highly-debatable decision this one as replays showed Delaney’s knee did catch Benteke’s leg, though whether enough to bring him down in the manner it did is another matter. The referee (who had consulted with his linesman before awarding the spot-kick) even admitted himself that the decision was wrong, with our panel narrowly voting 3-2 in favour of Alan Pardew. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Juan Mata red card v West Brom: A weekend of debate two yellows leading to reds was completed when the Man United ever-present was also sent packing early doors. The first, for blocking an early West Brom free-kick, and the second, for a needless hack at Darren Fletcher, however, were both the correct calls, according to our panel and the Spaniard can have no arguments. Verdict: Correct decision


For and Against

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

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Home Forums Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 29

This topic contains 59 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  nine nine nine 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    James Marshment

    Our panel debate Christian Benteke’s highly-controversial penalty, while reds for Everton, Arsenal and Southampton also come under review.

    [See the full post at: Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 29]



    this is ridiculous, I remember Mark staunchly defending the decision regarding Vardy ‘winning’ a penalty against Arsenal stating that even though it was a soft penalty that the decision was correct as per rules and Vardy was within his rights to go down…why doesn’t the same apply to Benteke’s pen?



    Because Benteke did dive 😉



    Why is the Dier second yellow being spoken about and not the Bellerin one? Agree Dier probably should have gone, but then so should have Bellerin….



    Nocturnal, maybe because Leicester are fighting for the title mate. Maybe then it’s OK. Otherwise,it’s clearly wrong



    Nocturnal_red – 100% agree, I posted at the time of the Vardy pen that they were justifying it rather than saying if it was right or wrong – pundits need to stand up and say its not right that players go down “under contact” or are “entitled to go down”, we need to change the perception and get football back to being seen as a contact sport!



    Smell that? Its the stink of hypocrasy again from this farse of a panel. I challenge any one of you to sprint across your car park full throttle and then let someone clip your foot. See if you fall over. Delaney clearly made contact. And when sprinting that is certainly enough to bring someone down. Benteke didnt roll around. No tumbles. No big theatrics. He simply fell because he was tripped. End of story. Correct decision 100%. I could list counltess penalties which this “panel” has deemed worthy of a penalty when the contact is minimal. You also use the story that the ref admitted it was a mistake to try and justify your stupidity. But the only person who has claimed the ref admitted it was a mistake is Delaney himself. The player that openly lied when he said he 100% made no contact with Benteke. Replays have shown this is a lie. I dont know why this panel bothers any more. They dont have a non biased or legitimate view on things. They just make up the rules when they feel like it.



    Liv_1986 I’m actually applauding your post. Fantastic. Well said



    sorry Liverpool_1986 : Benteke wasn’t “clipped” – had his foot been hit with enough force to go behind his other leg as he was taking a stride then it would have been a foul as he would have been impeded and you can then use your sprinting argument (which I’m pretty sure was made up by Gareth Bale) – in this case his nearside foot had “contact” made on it by Delaney, on its way UP not down and so there is no bio-mechanical reason for him to fall. Believe me, I had training with my american football team the morning of this game, and if I fell over under that level of contact I would be seeking a doctor to correct a inner ear balance problem!


    nine nine nine

    Before anybody gets too harsh with the panel Dermot Gallagher reviewed the incident on SSN’s today and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a penalty.



    The general consensus across both threads is Liverpool fans think its a penalty albeit a soft one and all other fans think its a dive and not a penalty…



    mcfc psychology – it sure is mcfc psychology… look at the picture provided. Both legs are in the air and standing leg (the leg to which all the weight will be applied) is impeded from making a firm grounding. The momentum of the player will force the entire weight forward reducing the balance to zero as. Should be a no brainer even for City fans



    I really laugh at this panel as they only highlight the “game changing decisions” they don’t look at the whole referee performance as a whole… i will continue to say this but the smaller clubs may not get the so called big decisions however they get their fair share of lee way…. players who play for the big clubs will on average be allowed 4-5 fouls before they are booked for accumulation…. the smaller clubs can get away with up to 10 on average in which they even have 2 or 3 challenges within the accumulation worthy of a booking. anyway i digress – with the betake penalty i am 100% certain that if it was outside the box the referee would award a free kick and no one would be the wiser… for me the referee bottled the decision and went to his assistant referee to have the penalty awarded – in fact he can overrule the assistant referees decision but he did not which says to me he had no bottle… i don’t care if contact is minimal. contact was made through a result of a slide tackle with no attempt or chance in playing the ball in which it constitutes a foul there is nothing in the rule that states how hard the contact should be – it clearly states contact. Replays show that contact was made therefore the decision is correct…. end of discussion … it’s like this BS regarding the last man on a goal scoring opportunity, the rule clearly explains that if the player is denied a clear goal scoring opportunity then the player is to be sent off… it does not say if the player is the last man and fouls an opponent that it constitutes a red… Pundits are ex player and not Ex referees and to be quite honest have no clue about the Laws of the game, logic should depict that their opinions should carry no substance but unfortunately it does.



    Unsurprisingly all Liverpool fans on here are 100% certain it was a penalty and most neutrals/opposing fans are leaning more towards Benteke having gone down too easily.

    Personally, if this was my team (Spurs) I’d probably see it as a clear penalty too, much the way Liverpool fans are doing. And for those commenting it was a dive I suspect if it were your team you would also consider it a penalty.

    Conversely, I suspect that if this was Wayne Rooney going over at Anfield then the same Liverpool fans would be screaming “Diver!” and worse…



    If you clip a player inside the box and he goes down its a penalty. This five man panel is a joke, they have so often contradicted themselves.

    According to them a elbow in the face is a yellow and not a yellow, if you bring someone down in the penalty box it can be a penalty or not a penalty. This reeks of bias…



    Liverpuddle: this is a still image, if you watch the video again, you will see that the foot with which contact is made is off the ground on an upwards stride – the ONLY way that this timing of impact could cause you to fall is if the force is enough to send your left foot across your right leg, causing you to trip.

    If contact occured as the left foot was on the downwards stride and resulted in misplacement of the foot as it came to land, then you would have cause to justify it as sufficient contact to result in impediment but its simple biomechanics that this level of displacement to Benteke’s left foot on an upwards stride, should not have caused him to fall to the ground.

    How many times have you walked in a queue of people, or walked upstairs at a busy train station and had the person behind you clip your heel as your lift your foot from the ground – do you fall over?

    This isn’t anti-Liverpool, as I feel that its a contradiction for this panel to say that Benteke isn’t a penalty, but Vardy V Arsenal was – I actually think this is an obvious penalty with the way the game is currently referee’d – but that is the real problem, as this is the direction modern football is firmly headed in to, and its only for fans of all clubs and pundits to say : contact doesnt mean foul, whether the player in question is Vardy, Benteke, Bale or Yaya Toure



    NorthernBahrain – football is a contact sport, contact does not=foul, impediment does. I can also assure you that had this challenge occured outside of the box, Benteke would have ridden the challenge – a penalty is too tempting a reward for players in modern football, I propose the penalty area be made smaller so that more actual football can be played



    Same garbage, different week. There will be a similar incident in the next few weeks involving a different club and they’ll say it’s a penalty. Where in the rules does it stipulate how much contact is required? Is it measured in Newtons or Joules? Do all refs have a masters degree in physics? Utter tripe.



    Nine nine nine, Dermot Gallaher is a bellend.



    So the panel concluded the Miralles didn’t dive even though there was zero contact yet Benteke did dive even though there was contact. Good logic there panel

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