Ref Review: Did Ander Herrera deserve his two yellow cards?

A look at all the controversial decisions during this weekend’s Premier League and FA Cup 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.

Bournemouth first penalty v West Ham

It was clumsy rather than malicious from Sofiane Feghouli as he brought down Charlie Daniels in the area. Ref Bobby Madley had no doubts and this spot-kick at least was not contested by the West Ham players.

Verdict: Correct decision


Bournemouth second penalty v West Ham

Marc Pugh jinked into the area and hit the deck after tussling with Jose Fonte. Madley didn’t hesitate in pointing to the spot for a second time but this one looked far more debatable.

Fonte wasn’t happy and looking at it again he has a case. Incredibly neither penalty decision cost the Hammers as both were missed during a crazy first half at the Vitality Stadium.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Granit Xhaka yellow card v Lincoln City

Xhaka bookings are becoming as regular an occurrence as Monday following Sunday and the Swiss was cautioned again at The Emirates for a late lunge on Lincoln striker (and cult hero) Matt Rhead that was completely justified.

Verdict: Correct decision


Arsenal second goal v Lincoln City

The Imps gave it their best shot in north London but the gulf in class was too wide against an Arsenal side laden with internationals.

Arsenal’s second goal, which replays confirmed was just onside before being finished clinically by Olivier Giroud, broke Lincoln hearts and gave the Gunners some breathing space. They went on to plunder five against the first non-league side to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in 103 years.

Verdict: Correct decision


Tottenham penalty appeal v Millwall

Dele Alli: Appeals successfully for a penalty

There was a big shout for a spot kick at White Hart Lane with the score at 0-0 as Dele Alli swivelled in the area and with his back to goal hit the deck after tangling with Tony Craig. The Lions defender definitely grabbed Alli’s shirt and while Martin Atkinson was brilliantly placed he didn’t blow up and kept his hands by his side.

Millwall got lucky as it looked a penalty all day long.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Joey Barton yellow card v Liverpool

Joey Barton: Has hearing delayed

It was yet another energetic, combative performance from the evergreen Barton, who was cautioned in the second half for bringing down Georginio Wijnaldum right on the edge of the Liverpool area. Barton clearly wasn’t thrilled by ref Craig Pawson’s decision but the booking looked fair enough.

Verdict: Correct decision


Ander Herrera red card at Chelsea

The Spanish midfielder was sent for an early bath after just 35 minutes at Stamford Bridge after collecting two bookable offences.

The first – for a crude block on Eden Hazard – looked unlucky on first evidence, though replays showed he’d made no attempt for the ball, making it a worthy caution.

And the Belgian was his victim for his second offence just a matter of minutes later, when having lost his man, he stuck out a leg to curtail a break towards goal.

Despite Jose Mourinho and Manchester United’s protestations, the player could have little grounds for appeal, with his two cautions, absolutely bang on.

Verdict: Correct decision


READ MORE: Ander Herrera world class? He’s not even Manchester United class


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At first glance it may seem an odd pick given the Lilywhites eventually went on to win 6-0 but Alli being hauled down in the area by Craig definitely should have resulted in a penalty.

The game was goalless at the time and if it had remained so that call by Martin Atkinson would have been the narrative of the match.

Plans are afoot for video assistant referees to be employed in next season’s FA Cup and if they had them on Sunday Craig wouldn’t have got away with what was a clear violation of the rules.

Stonewall decision of the week

Xhaka yellow card v Lincoln City

Granit Xhaka: Police caution

The caution was Xhaka’s fifth in a row for Arsenal, whose fans were scathing on social media about a player who is becoming something of a liability.

Five consecutive bookings and before that a straight red card against Burnley? It’s not the type of consistency Arsene Wenger perhaps had in mind when he signed him.


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