Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 31

Date published: Monday 21st March 2016 7:28

Michail Antonio: Challenge was outside the box

Michail Antonio: Challenge was outside the box

Our panel debate several highly dubious decisions across the Premier League this weekend and also discuss red card escapes for Aly Cissokho and Chris Smalling.

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.

Alexis Sanchez penalty appeal v Everton: The Chilean forward took a tumble in the Everton box during the first half at Goodison after contact from Muhamed Besic. Although the player appeared to fall almost belatedly, replays showed Alexis had been caught and Everton had got away with one. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Olivier Giroud disallowed goal v Everton: Arsenal almost capped an impressive display at Goodison with a third goal late on when French striker Giroud nodded into the net from a left-wing corner. However, Everton were given a foul after Phil Jagielka took a tumble in the box, and while there appeared nothing in it at first instance, replays showed the defender had tripped on Alex Iwobi’s stationary leg. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Yohan Cabaye penalty appeal v Leicester: The French midfielder lashed a volley goalwards during the second half against the league leaders, with the effort appearing to catch Robert Huth on the shoulder and sparking strong Palace appeals. But replays showed the volley actually struck the big German on the arm and the ref was 100% correct. Verdict: Correct decision

Robert Huth penalty appeal v Crystal Palace: It was an eventful afternoon for the Foxes centre-half and he could arguably count himself unfortunate not to win a spot-kick of his own at the other end after Scott Dann had such a tight hold of his shirt, that he actually lifted it over his head and off his back. However, the incident was not serious enough to warrant a spot-kick and the shirt being pulled off his head was nothing more than a quirk of fate, according to four of our five-strong panel. Verdict: Correct decision

Gary Cahill penalty appeal v West Ham: The England defender saw penalty appeals waved away after he’d flicked the ball back into the area and it was blocked clumsily by what appeared to be Enner Valencia’s arm. The ball, however, had caught more of the player’s shoulders and our panel felt the ref, just about, made the right call. Verdict: Correct decision

Chelsea penalty v West Ham: West Ham were denied a first win at Stamford Bridge in 14 years when referee Robert Madley pointed to the spot after adjudging Michail Antonio to have brought Ruben Loftus-Cheek down in the area. But there were strong doubts the challenge was made in the box, and our panel unanimously agreed it should has been a free-kick only. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Marko Arnautovic disallowed goal v Watford: Stoke’s fruitful afternoon at Vicarage Road could’ve been even better had the Austrian forward not been flagged offside when converting a cross from Phil Bardsley. However, replays showed the officials were 100% right to flag him offside and not allow the goal to stand. Verdict: Correct decision

Aly Cissokho red card escape v Swansea: Booked correctly for a first-half foul on Modou Barrow, the full-back must have been fearing the worst when he tripped the same player again. However, despite awarding a free-kick, referee Mike Dean chose instead to let the player off with a final warning, though the only plausible explanation we have is that he must’ve felt sorry for the club and their plight. Either way, maximum punishment was inflicted when Swansea scored the winning goal off the resulting free-kick. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Shane Long penalty appeal v Liverpool: The Saints forward took tumble in the box under the weight of a challenge from Dejan Lovren and although no spot-kick was given, the Croatian was seen to have leaned on the Irishman. However, four of our five-strong panel agreed with the referee on this one as contact wasn’t enough to warrant a penalty. Verdict: Correct decision

Joe Allen disallowed goal v Southampton: The ‘Welsh Pirlo’ was denied a rare goal after he drilled the ball home from a half-cleared corner. But with Mamadou Sakho in an offside position when the ball was fired goalwards, and given he was obscuring Fraser Forster’s view (together with the suggestion he tried to play the ball) the officials were 100% right to deny him a goal. Verdict: Correct decision

Southampton penalty v Liverpool: Martin Skrtel couldn’t believe his eyes when the ref pointed to the spot after he was adjudged to have pulled back on Graziano Pelle in the area. The Slovakian argued he was only given as good as he got, but replays showed the tug was entirely one way and the referee got a difficult call (just about) right, though it was certainly a soft one for Liverpool to concede. Verdict: Correct decision

Offside appeal in Saido Mane winner v Liverpool: Saints sealed a dramatic come-from-behind victory when Mane latched on to a Pelle pass to fire past Simon Mignolet. Liverpool claimed the substitute was offside when he picked up the pass, but replays showed he was played on by Sakho. Verdict: Correct decision

Dele Alli disallowed goal v Bournemouth: Tottenham enjoyed a comfortable afternoon against Bournemouth at White Hart Lane but could have had more to show for their efforts when the England midfielder touched home a cross from Eric Dier. The ‘goal’ however was disallowed with Harry Kane adjudged offside, which in itself was marginal, and ultimately was not interfering with play. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Marcus Rashford penalty appeal v Manchester City: The Manchester United forward clearly enjoyed his afternoon against Martin Demichelis and was unfortunate not to win a penalty to add to his winning goal. The United man was felled in the box under a challenge from the Argentinian and, while Michael Oliver was adamant it was not a penalty, our panel felt the referee got this one wrong with the striker impeded and prevented from getting a shot on goal. Contact might have only been minimal, but it was contact all the same, and the City defender can consider himself fortunate. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Chris Smalling red card escape v Manchester City: The Manchester United defender was cautioned early in the game for a shirt tug on Sergio Aguero and must have been fearing the worst when a bit of magic from the striker saw Smalling bring him down for a second time. While Oliver opted to give Smalling the benefit of the doubt, our panel felt that had that been any other player, the yellow would have been shown and the decision to show leniency was, by the letter of the law, wrong. Amazingly, that was only the second major decision to go against Manchester United this season, as our table, below, shows. Verdict: Incorrect decision


For and Against

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

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Home Forums Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 31

This topic contains 17 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Al Chester 10 months ago.

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    James Marshment

    Our panel debate several dubious decisions in the Premier League this weekend and also discuss red card escapes for Cissokho and Smalling.

    [See the full post at: Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 31]


    voice of reason

    How can you say that the Shane Long penalty appeal was correct because ‘contact wasn’t enough to warrant a penalty’ when you say Marcus Rashford was incorrectly denied a penalty as ‘contact was minimal, but it was contact all the same’?

    Both had contact – both were minimal – neither were given – but one decision is correct and one is incorrect.

    Your panel of referees are as inconsistent as the Premier League referees this season – get yourselves sorted out!



    Another week and the usual dross from the panel. Firstly if you actually watched the replays it clearly shows that both skrtel and pelle has a hold of each others shirt and were both giving as good as each other. I could post a gif picture to prove it if you want? but I doubt you would admit it even then. And whilst the Mane winner wasn’t offside you have neglected to review the clear foul on skrtel which led to the pass being played and goal being scored. Another 2 decisions “missed” by the panel.


    voice of reason

    I was only comparing two ‘similar’ incidents with ‘minimal contact’ and questioning why one wasn’t enough for a penalty and the other one was.


    nine nine nine

    Completely agree with the review panels decision on the Loftus Cheek penalty but in defence of the officials in real time to the naked eye on the day it did look a penalty.



    Perhaps Oliver showed leniency on Smalling because after Smalling got the first booking for an innocuous shirt pull very early on, he didn’t book a single City player in the first half when they hacked down 4 separate United counter attacks with 3 fouls and 1 handball. Rashford got thrown into touch by Mangala when Rashford was about to burn past him and create a 3 on 2 in United’s favour. No booking. Smalling gives Aguero a bit of a tickle, in a position when United had players back in numbers, and he gets a booking for his first offence. Bizarre consistency.

    City did it a few times in the first half and still no booking. So by Oliver’s consistency overall by not sending Smalling off for committing two fouls wasn’t out of the ordinary. Neither were nasty fouls either, just standard tussles. Sending a centre half off for committing two ordinary fouls, when no City player got the same treatment for killing counter attacks dead, would be utterly nonsensical.



    No mention of Fabregas cheating for the first Chelsea goal? Moron Madley steps out 10 yards but fails to mark the ball, Fabregas moves the ball back 2 yards giving him a better distance and a full 12 yards from the defensive wall enabling him to get it up and over better while Adrian remains unsighted. To top it all off when Ogbonna points this out to the inept official he gets a booking for his trouble.


    voice of reason

    Interesting to look on SKY’s Ref Watch – Gallagher gives the Long, Pelle and Rashford incidents as penalties – showing consistency at least.



    Love to know who is on your panel ? Is Stevie Wonder one of them ?



    Coming from a Spurs fan, the Dele Alli goal was totally right to be disallowed. Harry Kane put his foot towards the ball and on replays its not easy to say he didn’t actually touch it, as soon as he puts his foot towards the ball he is interfering and as such it was rightly disallowed. Review of your Ref Review: Incorrect decision.



    None of you obviously saw MoTD when they showed that Arnautavic was clearly on-side!



    The “interfering with play” rule is quite simply the most stupid rule in football in my humble opinion.
    I think it was Bill Shankly who once said “If he isn’t interfering with play, then what the bloody hell is he doing on the pitch!”
    And yes, the goal should have been disallowed.



    I’m a bit confused as to how your table works. How is Chris Smalling not getting a red card classed as a decision going against Manchester United?

    Also, the following makes no sense whatsoever: “…with the effort appearing to catch Robert Huth on the arm and sparking strong Palace appeals. But replays showed the volley actually struck the big German on the arm and the ref was 100% correct.”

    So, Palace were right when they claimed it had hit Huth on the arm but the ref was right not give a penalty because the ball actually hit him on the… erm… arm?


    Al Chester

    Totally agree. How on earth does the ref’s decision not to send Smalling off go ‘against’ Man U?

    In fact, it goes in their favour so the table should read 10 decisions for and 1 against Man U this season.

    That would be shocking but for the fact I’m not sure you’ll have interpreted ‘for’ and ‘against’ properly for the other decisions either.



    Long’s and Rashford’s were Pens all day Long(No pun intended) Pelle’s One was a bit of Both He and Skrtel tugging at Each others Shirts and for Me the fact that the Ref could only see Skrtel pulling Pelle’s shirt He had to act on that but the opposite Camera angle shows clearly that Pelle was also tugging Skrtel’s shirt.Smalling should have walked and Michael Oliver made a huge mistake in not sending Him off,Sanchez’s One at Goodison should also have been given because there were Two challenges on Him in that same movement both which never made contact with the Ball just the player.


    Al Chester

    Again, have to agree. Even as a Liverpool fan, I’m amazed that Long did not get a penalty. A lot of Liverpool fans think we threw that game away. I think Soton were unlucky not to go ahead with that penalty and then to miss the one they got early in the second half (though a great save by Mignolet, the penalty decision was correct and Skrtl should have been punished for it). But for about three or four attacking moves, two of which resulted in goals, we were downright shoddy and Soton very deserving winners.


    James Marshment

    Al Chester – to explain the table.
    After week 30, Man United had eight decisions go for them, with one going against.
    Following the City game, they benefited from the decision not to send Smalling off (so their tally climbed to nine) but were wrongly ruled against with the Rashford penalty (that tally rises to two)

    As for those feeling aggrieved at the Shane Long decision, this was reviewed with absolutely no bias and the panel (five voices) felt that contact was not enough to warrant a penalty. Cheers


    Al Chester

    Thanks, James. That’s a lot clearer re the table.

    On the Shane Long one, it’s not about bias, I just don’t get it. Bear in mind I am a Liverpool fan. What I don’t think refs ever understand is that if you’re running either fast or at an angle (or both), it doesn’t take much contact for you to fall over and that doesn’t mean you’re making a meal of it. It’s just the physics of it – something to do with mass and acceleration, I’m sure. On a basic level, if you play football, you know that when you’re defending against someone fast or who’s cutting inside of you, you don’t want to get the slightest touch on him because he could legitimately fall as a result. This is what happened with Long and I think it happens sometimes in other situations that the refs don’t get why the player has fallen. But many other times, they do make a meal of it so it’s hard to judge, that’s for sure.

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