Our panel debate several highly-dubious decisions across the Premier League this weekend, with a number of hugely controversial verdicts in the West Ham v Arsenal game coming under particular scrutiny.
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.
Andy Carroll red card escape v Arsenal: The West Ham striker certainly made his mark on the match, hauling the Hammers back into the match with a deadly double on the stroke of half-time, before putting them 3-2 ahead by completing his hat-trick shortly after.
However, the Hammers forward was arguably lucky to still be on the field, having been booked for a poor lunge on Laurent Koscielny in the third minute, he then caught Gabriel with a flaying elbow in the second half. However, despite ref Craig Pawson awarding the foul, three of our five-man panel felt a second booking would have been harsh. Verdict: Correct decision
Manuel Lanzini disallowed goal v Arsenal: The Argentinian thought he’d handed West Ham an early lead in the match when he converted Carroll’s overhead kick from close range. However, the linesman waved Lanzini offside, though replays showed he was clearly played on by Hector Bellerin. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Nacho Monreal penalty appeal v West Ham: The Spanish full-back felt he deserved a spot-kick after a collision in the box upended him. However, there was not enough in it to warrant a penalty, with the passage of play leading directly to Mesut Ozil’s opener for Arsenal. Verdict: Correct decision
Possible Mesut Ozil offside in Arsenal’s opener v West Ham: The German handed Arsenal the lead when his well-taken shot beat Adrian, though the Hammers felt Ozil could have been offside. However, replays showed the playmaker was level with Angelo Ogbonna when latching onto Danny Welbeck’s pass and the officials were right to let play continue. Verdict: Correct decision
Possible offside in build-up to second Carroll goal v Arsenal: The Gunners felt Michail Antonio was offside as the ball was dinked back into the box just ahead of Carroll’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time. However, the West Ham wing-back, while stood in an offside position, was not interfering with play and again it was right for the goal to stand. Verdict: Correct decision
Lanzini penalty appeal v Arsenal: The Argentinian completed an unfortunate afternoon when he was denied what a possible penalty following a challenge from Bellerin in the area. Although you can understand why the referee, with what initially looked like an innocent coming together, waved play on, our panel felt (with the benefit of replays) that the Spaniard had both an arm on his shoulder and also slipped and fell onto the player’s legs. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Dimitri Payet disallowed goal v Arsenal: West Ham felt they’d been denied a goal when Payet fired in after Koscielny and David Ospina had allowed the ball to escape them both under heavy pressure from Carroll. But our panel voted 3-2 in favour of the referee, who’d deemed the West Ham striker to have fouled Arsenal’s French defender. Verdict: Correct decision
Gabriel red card escape v Arsenal: The defender carelessly lost possession when under pressure from that man Carroll and stuck out a leg at the end of a theatrical tumble to not just impede, but complete prevent the striker, at the least, getting a shot in on goal. Our panel however felt that the Brazilian’s challenge was a yellow card at worst. Verdict: Correct decision
Unsual referee intervention in build-up to West Brom’s opener: The Man City players felt hard done by after referee Mike Jones inadvertently blocked Samir Nasri’s run and ensured possession was turned over to the visitors, who soon opened the scoring through Stephane Sessegnon. However, as unfortunate as this was for Man City, play-on was the only call available to referee here. Verdict: Correct decision
Manchester City penalty v West Brom: Stephane Sessegnon went from hero to zero after clipping Aleksander Kolarov’s heels in the box. While Tony Pulis felt the call was harsh, our panel sided with the officials 4-1. Verdict: Correct decision
West Brom penalty appeal v Manchester City: Sandro was clumsily barged in the box after competing for a cross with Eliaquim Mangala. But with the French defender wiping out his opponent in mid-air and with no chance of playing the ball, we felt the ref, on this occasion, got this one wrong. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Possible Karl Darlow red card v Southampton: The third-choice Newcastle stopper was forced to dash from his area to clear an under-hit back-pass, facing a race with Shane Long for the loose ball. Although the Irish attacker marginally reached the ball first, we felt Darlow’s challenge saw him get enough on the ball albeit a split-second later, with the ref getting a tight decision spot on. Verdict: Correct decision
Norwich penalty appeal v Crystal Palace: Norwich felt they were denied an obvious spot-kick when Damien Delaney appeared to bundle Matt Jarvis over in the box. And much like Mangala on Sandro at the Etihad, we felt the defender had no chance of playing the ball and the Palace defender had had a fortunate escape. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Swansea penalty appeal v Chelsea: The Swans felt they could have had a penalty when Jefferson Montero’s cross appeared to strike Cesar Azpilicueta’s arm, though the full-back did not make an obvious movement to block the delivery, which had been fired at him at point-blank range. The officials were, therefore, spot on with this call, with Swans scoring the winning goal moments later anyway to make the decision immaterial. Verdict: Correct decision
Possible James McCarthy foul in build-up to Everton’s goal v Watford: Watford felt the midfielder had fouled Miguel Britos as the Everton man robbed the Hornets defender of possession before scoring the opener. But there was not enough in the challenge to warrant a foul and the referee was 100% right to award the goal. Verdict: Correct decision
Leicester penalty appeal v Sunderland: Shinji Okazaki went tumbling in the area under a clumsy challenge from DeAndre Yedlin. While the full-back only had eyes for the ball, he can consider himself fortunate not to concede a spot-kick having caught the Leicester forward with a boot into his chest. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Sunderland penalty appeal v Leicester: Robert Huth appears to find himself the subject of a dubious decision every other weekend and the Foxes defender was at the centre of another controversy this week when, going to ground to cut out a Patrick van Aanholt cross, he blocked the ball with his trailing arm. Although accidental, three of our panel felt his arm had prevented the cross reaching its target and the German’s position was unnatural enough to warrant a penalty. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Second Leicester penalty appeal v Sunderland: Riyad Mahrez appealed for a penalty when his shot was blocked by Younes Kaboul. But with the defender turning his back on play, and with it being a case of ‘ball to hand, rather than hand to ball’, he’d have been unlucky to have been penalised here under the current rules. Verdict: Correct decision
Tottenham penalty appeal v Manchester United: Spurs may have been 3-0 to the good against United, but they kept pushing for a fourth and thought they may have been given that chance when Dele Alli went to ground following a tangle with Matteo Darmian. But the ref decided the England man’s leg went across into the Italian’s, rather than the other way round, with birthday boy Alli picking up an unwanted card from Mike Dean for trying to con the officials. Verdict: Correct decision
Phil Bardsley foul on James Milner in build-up to Liverpool opener: The Stoke full-back was adjudged to have knocked the Liverpool man to the ground, and there looked little in it, with Milner, if anything, appearing just to be off balance. Liverpool then took a quick free-kick with Alberto Moreno firing home a brilliant winner, but our panel think play should not have been pulled back in the first place. Verdict: Incorrect decision
Disallowed Stoke goal v Liverpool: Peter Crouch thought he capped a rare Stoke start with a goal in front of the Kop, only to see his header from Eric Pieters’ cross ruled out for offside. But replays showed the officials had got a pretty tight call absolutely on the money and Crouch was denied a goal on his return to Anfield. Verdict: Correct decision
For and Against
|1. Man Utd||Nine||Two||+7|
|4. Aston Villa||Seven||Two||+5|
|= Crystal Palace||Six||Five||+1|
|15. West Brom||Six||Ten||-4|
|20. West Ham||Four||Fifteen||-11|