Ref Review: The major controversies of the final day analysed

A look at all the controversial decisions during this weekend’s Premier League games with a number of high-profile incidents up for debate.

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 decide on a weekly basis which side can consider themselves lucky and which was the easiest decision for a match official to make.


Laurent Koscielny red card v Everton

A moment of madness from Koscielny and one that looks like costing him an appearance in the FA Cup final. He flew in, studs up, and cleaned poor Enner Valencia out after just 14 minutes at the Emirates.

Referee Michael Oliver had little option but to brandish a red and unless Arsenal successfully appeal the decision the Frenchman will definitely miss the May 27 Wembley showpiece against Chelsea. He can have few complaints either as it really was a terrible tackle and his fifth Premier League dismissal since signing for Arsenal in 2010.

Verdict: Correct decision


Everton penalty v Arsenal

Very sloppy play and all rather unnecessary  this from Nacho Monreal who failed to deal with a speculative, looped ball into the area before controlling it with his hand. Another easy decision for Oliver.

Verdict: Correct decision


Diego Costa yellow card v Sunderland

Diego Costa: Has not been at his best since January

In what could prove his final appearance at Stamford Bridge Costa could not sign off with a goal but the combative striker did pick up a booking after an unsavoury scuffle with John O’Shea.

Costa claimed the Sunderland defender struck him in the face but was himself booked by Neil Swarbrick for his response.

Verdict: Correct decision


Billy Jones yellow card v Chelsea

A booking born out of pure frustration on an afternoon when Jones struggled to contain the brilliant Eden Hazard. The Belgian was chopped down by Jones with the second half barely underway and it was a clear caution.

Verdict: Correct decision


Middlesbrough penalty appeal v Liverpool

A huge call at Anfield this and did referee Martin Atkinson get it wrong? With the score at 0-0 Dejan Lovren was caught the wrong side of Patrick Bamford and clearly put his arm on the Boro striker before the pair tumbled to the ground in the area.

Bamford was furious and was definitely impeded by the defender, with replays suggesting it should have been a penalty and possible red card to boot.

Boro boss Steve Agnew was in no doubt either, stating afterwards “It might have been very different in the first half if we got the penalty – from where I was it looked a penalty.”

Liverpool eventually ran out 3-0 winners to secure Champions League qualification but it all might have been so different if Atkinson had made the correct call.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Ashley Westwood possible red card v West Ham

Westwood was very lucky not to be dismissed at Turf Moor when, just minutes after picking up a booking for fouling Andre Ayew in the first half, he caught James Collins’ thigh with his studs up as both went for the same bouncing ball. Ref Bobby Madley chose to take no action but it was a very ugly challenge that should have been greeted with a yellow, which would have meant an early bath for Westwood.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Leicester City disallowed goal v Bournemouth

Jamie Vardy wheeled away to celebrate after bundling home a rebound following a fierce shot by Islam Slimani with the score 1-1 at the King Power. Alas the goal was immediately chalked off for offside. However replays showed Vardy was onside, just, and that the goal should have stood.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Team most likely to feel brassed off award


Or should this be Middlesbrough and Arsenal? Because if Martin Atkinson had blown for a penalty and dismissed Lovren (who was the last man) then the whole complexion of Sunday’s clash at Anfield would have changed and Arsenal might have had a squeak of finishing in the top four.


Stonewall decision of the week

Koscielny red card v Everton

A wild lunge by the Frenchman and in truth it was more through luck than judgement that he didn’t seriously injure Valencia. A bad challenge that left the referee with no choice.