Ref Review: Who was hard done by over Christmas?

Date published: Thursday 31st December 2015 2:12

Wayne Rooney: Escaped red card for challenge on Oscar

Watford, West Ham, Everton and Leicester City were among the teams to suffer from incorrect refereeing decisions over Christmas.

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 19

Everton penalty appeal v Stoke City: Roberto Martinez was fuming after Everton lost a topsy-turvy game against Stoke City 4-3, claiming two major incorrect decisions went against his side. Our panel agreed with the Toffees boss regarding his first complaint when Erik Pieters got away with bringing down Seamus Coleman in the box. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Stoke City penalty v Everton: Our panel did not agree with Martinez regarding Stoke’s penalty, however. John Stones did get a slight touch on the ball, but it was not enough to divert it away from Marko Arnautovic, who would have had a great chance to score had he not been felled by Stones on the follow up. Verdict: Correct decision

Nathan Ake red card v Tottenham: The Watford man could not believe his eyes after being shown a red card for a high boot into the stomach of Erik Lamela – and three out of five on our panel felt a yellow card would have been fairer, particularly considering Ake got the ball first. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Tottenham second goal v Watford: The Hornets suffered even worse luck in the dying moments when Son-Heung Min headed in a winner for Spurs despite clearly being offside in the build-up when he challenged Heurelho Gomes for a cross. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Newcastle penalty appeal v West Brom: Aleksander Mitrovic was rugby tackled by Jonny Evans as he got a shot away inside the West Brom box. Four out of five on our panel felt a spot-kick should have been awarded. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Manchester United first penalty appeal v Chelsea: Nobody on the panel could not understand why referee Martin Atkinson did not award a penalty kick when Willian clearly moved his hand to control a loose ball, despite being under little pressure inside his own box. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Manchester United second penalty appeal v Chelsea: The hosts could have had two penalties in the game, with Juan Mata going down under a challenge from Cesar Azpilicueta, but three out of five on the panel felt the Chelsea man got enough of the ball in this case. Verdict: Correct decision

Wayne Rooney escaping red card v Chelsea: Martin Atkinson showed Rooney a yellow card, suggesting he saw the Manchester United captain studs thudding into Oscar’s calf. Nobody on our panel could understand why a straight red was not shown. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Jeremain Lens escaping red card v Liverpool: In the last game of 2015 on Wednesday night, Lens also escaped with only a yellow card for a lunging tackle on Mamadou Sakho. The way that Lens dived in and the force of the challenge convinced our panel that a red card should have been shown. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Nathan Ake red card

Week 18

Aston Villa penalty v West Ham: This penalty was won rather than conceding, with Rudy Gestede slowing up to allow contact from Angelo Ogbonna before clipping his own heels. It split the panel, but three to two felt the clumsiness of Ogbonna made the spot-kick correct. Verdict: Correct decision

West Ham first penalty appeal v Aston Villa: The hosts benefited from another marginal call later in the game when Mark Noble’s goalbound shot struck the hands of Leandro Bacuna but nothing was given. There was arguably little Bacuna could do to get out of the way at the ball, but his hands were up and prevented a possible goal. Four to one on our panel felt a penalty should have been awarded. Verdict: Inorrect decision

West Ham second penalty appeal v Aston Villa: Slaven Bilic was understandably upset with referee Mike Dean after the game, with Ashley Westwood also escaping punishment despite moving his hand towards the ball inside the box. Once again. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Watford penalty v Chelsea: It certainly wasn’t deliberate from Nemanja Matic, but our panel agreed referee Andre Marriner had no choice but to point to the spot when the Chelsea midfielder so clearly – and bizarrely- handled from a corner. Verdict: Correct decision

Chelsea penalty v Watford: There was no debate whatsoever about this one, with Valon Behrami scything down Eden Hazard inside the box. Verdict: Correct decision

Leicester City penalty appeal v Liverpool: According to our panel, Leicester and Liverpool are the two sides to have benefited most from major incorrect calls this season. On this ocassion it was Liverpool that got lucky, with Mamadou Sakho escaping when he went to ground to challenge Shinji Okazaki from behind but got little – if anything – off the ball as he took down the Foxes forward. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Manchester City penalty appeal v Sunderland: Raheem Sterling was booked after going down under a challenge for Billy Jones inside the penalty area early on in Manchester City’s 4-1 win over Sunderland on Boxing Day. Some will say the forward was taking evasive action and did not deserve the yellow card, but nobody on our panel felt this was a penalty. Verdict: Correct decision

Raheem Sterling disallowed goal v Sunderland: Sterling felt hard done by again before half-time when his strike was ruled out for offside, but replays showed it was the correct decision – just about. Verdict: Correct decision

Manchester City penalty v Sunderland: There was a penalty awarded later in the game, but replays showed Sebastian Coates’ foul on David Silva actually took place just outside the area. Justice was done as Wilfried Bony skied the spot-kick. Verdict: Incorrect decision

West Brom first penalty appeal v Swansea City: As Chris Brunt and Angel Rangel both moved to pounce on a loose ball inside the Swansea box, Brunt clearly got there first, with Rangel kicking the West Brom man down with his challenge. Verdict: Incorrect decision

West Brom second penalty appeal v Swansea City: While our panel felt West Brom should have had one penalty, four to one felt Callum McManaman deserved nothing when going down in anticipation of a trip from Leon Britton. Verdict: Correct decision

Norwich City penalty appeal v Tottenham: Cameron Jerome felt he too should have had a penalty when he was clattered by Hugo Lloris, but the Tottenham keeper actually punched the ball away just before the collision occurred. Verdict: Correct decision

Southampton first goal v Arsenal: Take nothing away from Cuco Martina, but Arsene Wenger was quite right to point out that Steven Davis was offside in the build-up. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Southampton second goal v Arsenal: Wenger complained about Saints’ second goal too, with Shane Long tripping Laurent Koscielny before continuing his run to score from Sadio Mane’s cross. The question is, was it deliberate or just an unfortunate tangling of legs? It split the panel, but three out of five felt the whistle should have been blown. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Southampton third goal v Arsenal: It can hardly be used as an excuse by Arsenal, who were poor on the night and still should have defended the corner for Saints’ third, but it should in fact have been a goal kick. Verdict: Incorrect decision

For and Against

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

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