Ref Review: Our look into all the weekend’s controversies

Date published: Monday 11th December 2017 11:30

All the big decisions from matchday 16 of the Premier League and there were some bad ones…

 

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.

Chelsea penalty appeal v West Ham

The Blues had looked clearly rattled after conceding early at the London Stadium but were soon appealing for a penalty after Alvaro Morata went to ground in the area. Winston Reid did get a bit of his shirt but the Spaniard went to ground very easily and it was a good call from Anthony Taylor to wave play on. It was all very theatrical and Morata may have been playing with the Spanish standard of what constitutes a foul in mind.

Verdict: Correct decision

 

Crystal Palace penalty #1 v Bournemouth

The visitors claimed afterwards that Wilfried Zaha had dragged his trailing leg to instigate contact with Asmir Begovic, who was otherwise immense all afternoon for the Cherries. It was certainly not clean cut but having had the benefit of numerous replays we feel Kevin Friend made the right call here. Just.

Verdict: Correct decision

 

Crystal Palace penalty #2 v Bournemouth

Massively contentious moment in injury-time at Selhurst Park as Zaha crashed to the turf after a challenge by Charlie Daniels. Begovic would go on to save Christian Benteke’s terrible spot kick but said afterwards “Replays show it was a clean tackle”. It does look as though Zaha was possibly looking to deceive the ref so if the FA are to be truly consistent they need to be having another look at this given what happened to Everton’s Oumar Niasse.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

 

Marvin Zeegelaar red card v Burnley

Marco Silva furious was with the Zeegelaar red card decision, claiming it was “harsh, harsh, harsh decision by the referee”. He was dismissed after just 39 minutes for a crude lunge on Steven Defour that had the home fans raging. Even though it was clumsy rather than malicious he did go in two-footed, his studs were high and he was out of control. With all this in mind you can’t really blame Lee Probert for brandishing a red.

Verdict: Correct decision

 

Leicester City penalty appeal v Newcastle United

Big shout for a penalty by Leicester on Tyneside when the scores were locked at 2-2 in a game you could barely take your eyes off. The ubiquitous Jamie Vardy went down in the area after a strong challenge from DeAndre Yedlin but referee Neil Swarbrick, like the Toon fans, felt the American got a tiny nick on the hall first. It was mightily close though and raises the issue around consistency again. Yedlin’s challenge on Vardy is not seen as a penalty yet in London Daniels on Zaha is deemed worthy of a spot kick?

Verdict: Correct decision

 

Charlie Austin goal v Arsenal

The TV pundits made very little of it but there was a suspicion of offside about Austin’s early opener at St Mary’s. Benny Hill defending from the Gunners but it was a very tight call and Austin may well have been just off.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

 

Arsenal penalty appeal v Southampton

We say ‘appeal’ but no Arsenal players appealed after Lacazette was cleaned out in the box after shooting over the bar. Hector Bellerin’s low ball in was met by Lacazette, who couldn’t hit the target, but Maya Yoshida’s tackle was as late as you will see all season, taking out the Arsenal man on the ankle. Referee Bobby Madley though never gave it a second look.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

 

Everton penalty v Liverpool

Everton did a Man Utd and ‘parked the bus’ at Anfield and were rewarded with a contentious second-half penalty. Dominic Calvert-Lewin got ahead of Dejan Lovren in the box and as he scampered after Wayne Rooney’s pass; Lovren then shoved him in the back and the striker when tumbling with Craig Pawson pointed to the spot.

Verdict: Correct decision

 

Ander Herrera yellow card v Manchester City

Absolute rascal dive by Herrera in the dying embers of a frantic Manchester derby. Jose Mourinho’s immediate touchline reaction told you everything about whether it was a penalty or not. United fans on Twitter afterwards right to question why Herrera was booked though when Gabriel Jesus did something similar in the first half an escaped a caution. You’d question the consistency of the decision making from the official but we have no problem with Herrera being booked. He cheated.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Arsenal

Denied a penalty after Lacazette was assaulted and conceded to an Austin goal that was offside. A bad day at the office made even worse by having to play the ref too.

Stonewall decision of the week

Zeegelaar red card v Burnley

“A definite sending off,” boomed Sean Dyche and while he wasn’t the most impartial observer on the day he wasn’t wrong. More reckless than malicious but it was two-footed and, given he was fully 70 yards from his own goal, also completely unnecessary.

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