Ref Review: Pawson has day to forget to leave Chelsea smiling

Neil Warnock TEAMtalk

No prizes for guessing which team can consider themselves the most “brassed off” after this weekend’s action with Cardiff somehow snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against Chelsea, all in Ref Review.

Refereeing decisions are regularly the source of debate among fans, pundits, players and managers so this season TEAMtalk’s ‘Ref Review’ panel will be passing judgement on every red card (or avoidance of one), every penalty  (or avoidance of one) and any other major incident in each Premier League match.

We may be in the day and age of goalline technology, while VAR made its appearance at the World Cup, but football remains littered with controversies.

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.


Manchester City first goal v Fulham

Bernardo Silva TEAMtalk

Bernardo Silva’s goal in Saturday’s early kick-off was one of those examples of how players can be in an offside position but aren’t actually committing an offence. No less than four City players were in offside positions when Silva pulled the trigger but the rules clearly state that a player is only in an offside position if he becomes involved in active play – either by preventing an opponent from getting to the ball or by obstructing the goalkeeper’s vision. In this instance Sergio Aguero cleverly ducked out of the way to ensure he wasn’t in Sergio Rico’s eyeline, thus ensuring no offence was committed. Full marks to Kevin Friend and his assistants for getting this one right.

Verdict: Correct decision


Manchester City penalty appeal v Fulham

City had a legitimate penalty appeal waved away when Raheem Sterling went down under Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s challenge on the stroke of half-time. It looked a foul to us and Fosu-Mensah can count himself lucky.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Crystal Palace penalty v Huddersfield Town

The Eagles finally broke the deadlock from the penalty spot on Saturday after Juninho Bacuna hauled down the lively Wilfried Zaha in the box. There was no reason for Juninho Bacuna to go down and make that challenge. It was just poor play. And a clear penalty.

Verdict: Correct decision


Manchester United second goal v Watford

Watford were waiting for a flag that in the end didn’t come at Old Trafford as French ace Anthony Martial bundled the ball over the line after Ben Foster failed to hold a low cross by Jesse Lingard. Replays confirmed he was on. Just.

Verdict: Correct decision


Alfredo Morelos red card v Celtic

Morelos received his fifth red card of the season for a shocking elbow on Scott Brown in Sunday’s Old Firm derby. Talk about a liability! He now has more red cards than goals in Old Firm derbies.

Verdict: Correct decision


Ryan Kent clash with Scott Brown

Rangers on-loan winger Ryan Kent decked Celtic skipper Scott Brown with a blatant (though far from textbook) jab in Sunday’s powderkeg derby at Parkhead, yet somehow escaped even so much as a booking. It was violent conduct and he should have walked, but given the incident was not picked up by the officials at the time there’s a very real chance he will yet face retrospective action.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Chelsea first goal v Cardiff City

Cesar Azpilicueta TEAMtalk

Massive controversy in Wales when Cesar Azpilicueta nodded the Blues level from a corner, but was miles offside. You can talk all you want about VAR, but that was as clear as day and should have been spotted by the officials. Azpilicueta, standing in front of the Cardiff ‘keeper, was at least two yards off when he headed home.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Cardiff City penalty appeal v Chelsea

There were huge appeals for a Cardiff penalty when Sean Morrison was brought down by Antonio Rudiger at the Cardiff City Stadium. It looked like Rudiger yanked his man to the ground in the area but this was again missed by the officials. VAR? Where for art thou?

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Antonio Rudiger yellow card v Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger TEAMtalk

As Cardiff chased a late winner they pumped long ball over the top looking for substitute Kenneth Zohore. The big Dane was clearly pulled down by Antonio Rudiger but referee Craig Pawson only deemed the foul worthy of a booking. Rudiger was not making a legitimate attempt to play the ball, and was the last man, so that really should have been red.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Team most likely to fell brassed off award 

Cardiff City 
Neil Warnock TEAMtalk
As well as conceding a goal that was clearly offside Cardiff also had a couple of decent penalty shouts turned down on the day as well as seeing Rudiger ride his luck with that late yellow card. Neil Warnock chose to stare down the officials, Clint Eastwood style, in the middle of the pitch at the final whistle but later described the Premier League as “the best league in world but probably the worst officials at the minute.”

Stonewall decision of the Week

Morelos red card 
Alfredo Morelos TEAMtalk
Does young Morelos have the shortest fuse in football? Brown definitely had a little niggle at him but his reaction, a blatant clothesline, would not have looked out of place in the WWE. Five red cards in a single season is frankly unforgivable.