Ref Review: Our panel decide on all the weekend controversies

Date published: Monday 9th April 2018 1:43

We assess a game-changing moment in Saturday’s Manchester derby, while the ugly scenes at Arsenal as well as controversies at Leicester and Brighton are all discussed in this week’s Ref Review.


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.


Tottenham second goal v Stoke City

At time of writing Spurs’ second goal is currently under review, with Harry Kane claiming he got the final touch after Christian Eriksen’s whipped centre. Having viewed it several times there’s not a chance Kane touched it. The England striker claimed afterwards “It flicked off my shoulder and went in”, while presumably wearing smouldering pants that were on fire. Eriksen’s goal. Nothing to see here.

Verdict: Correct decision


Davy Propper red card v Huddersfield Town

Propper was sent off for the Seagulls for a challenge on Jonathan Hogg deemed dangerous by ref Anthony Taylor. But was it though? It looked like a genuine 50-50 affair and the fact he didn’t make contact with the ball probably did for him. Chris Hughton and Brighton are considering an appeal, with the Brighton boss hinting it was actually a “competitive challenge”. It’s one of those challenges where there are arguments that could be made either way, and we feel any appeal may end up successful.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Harry Maguire yellow card v Newcastle United

England man Maguire grabbed Dwight Gayle by the face in the first half of the Magpies’ 2-1 win over the Foxes and inevitably this led to Toon fans insisting Maguire should have seen red.

It was certainly reckless from Maguire, who lost his cool after being grabbed from behind by Gayle. And while it was all firmly ‘handbags’ territory, he raised his hand and pushed it into Gayle’s face. Which the laws of the game these days insist is something you cannot do.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Leicester City penalty appeal v Newcastle United

This is just poor from Stuart Attwell and his assistants. Riyad Mahrez raced clear in the area and was blatantly brought down after a clumsy challenge by Paul Dummett. The Toon defender didn’t appear to make contact with the ball but certainly caught Mahrez, who went sprawling.

A stunned Claude Puel said afterwards: “Of course it was a penalty. There was contact with the foot of Riyad. For me it was a penalty.”

You are not wrong Claude. That was stonewall! One wonders what the assistant on that side was actually looking at?

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Chris Wood offside v Watford

Wood thought he’d given Burnley an early lead at Vicarage Road but his bullet header was chalked off for offside. In truth it was very, very tight but we feel the officials got it right.

Verdict: Correct decision


Ashley Young challenge on Sergio Aguero

Massive, massive call this from Martin Atkinson who turned down Manchester City’s frantic appeals for a penalty after Young slid in on Aguero in the box. The ball found the Argentine just inside the box on the right hand side. It would have been a great chance for Aguero but Young flew in, studs up, and while he got some of the ball he also got plenty of Aguero’s shin. It was one hundred per cent a penalty (and possibly a red), but Atkinson somehow said no dice.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Dusan Tadic foul on Reiss Nelson

With the game barely a few minutes old Reiss Nelson was clattered by a bad challenge by Dusan Tadic. And it was a shocker. The Sky commentator said it was too early to book Tadic. Surely the officials there to enforce the rules, not the stop watch? Really poor from Andre Marriner as the foul merited a yellow card at the very least.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Jack Stephens red card v Arsenal

Stephens was sent off in the dying moments of an eventful game at the Emirates. He reacted angrily to Jack Wilshere grabbing his shirt by throwing the Arsenal man, WWE style, to the turf. Andre Marriner was left with precious little choice.

Verdict: Correct decision


Jack Wilshere yellow card v Southampton

Wilshere cautioned for seemingly fronting up to Stephens after being hurled to the ground quite violently by the Saints player. In fairness to the Arsenal man he did very little wrong in terms of physical retaliation, other than menacingly walk up to Stephens and presumably ask him what he was playing at?

A yellow seemed harsh in such circumstances. Until you factor in it could have been for the initial tug on Stephens’ shirt, which caused the whole sorry debacle.

Mark Hughes, who’s obviously biased, moaned afterwards that the Arsenal man should have been dismissed along with Stephens.

Verdict: Correct decision


Mohamed Elneny red card v Southampton

It looked like a shove to the face of Cedric Soares from Mohamed Elneny. It’s the laws of the game, no touching the face, so technically he had to go. But in reality this was another case of ‘handbags’ and a straight red looked very harsh to us.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Manchester City

Never mind the smorgasbord of chances Raheem Sterling missed, Pep Guardiola and his men will have been raging after seeing replays of that Young challenge on Aguero. He flies in, at pace, with his studs up and catches the Argentine.

If the referee does his job they would have had a penalty for 3-3 and United might have had to play the rest of the game with 10 men.


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Stonewall decision of the week

Stephens red card

The red mist clearly descended on Stephens, who took Wilshere down in fine style right in front of the referee.


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