Ref Review: Did Man Utd get a helping hand at Chelsea?

Nemanja Matic TEAMtalk

Nemanja Matic’s tackle on N’Golo Kante was in the headlines after Man Utd’s 2-0 FA Cup win at Chelsea last night, 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.


Watford disallowed goal v QPR

The Hornets thought they had put the game to bed on Friday evening when the ever willing Troy Deeney split the home defence with a pass from the Gods into the hole. Andre Gray rounded keeper Joe Lumley and rolled it into the net. That looked like being that, but the flag went up for offside. It was a very tight call and replays didn’t give any massively conclusive evidence either way, but our hunch was Gray was on.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Manchester City first goal v Newport County

Leroy Sane TEAMtalk

Leroy Sane broke the stubborn resistance of Newport and credit must go to Ben Foden for not lashing the ball home before Sane’s parried shot trickled over the line. If he did though the England youngster might have ended up with a hat-trick on the night. John Hartson on BT Sport commentary got a bit excited saying Foden would have been offside if he applied the finishing touch. He wouldn’t.

Verdict: Correct decision


Harry Wilson yellow card v Brighton

Wilson was booked for a hefty challenge on Beram Kayal. But there was a VAR review – the first of the day – to see if the tackle should in fact have warranted a red. Replays confirmed it was a wild lunge but Wilson’s intention was clearly to make contact with the ball. VAR eventually agreed a yellow was adequate punishment, much to the chagrin of the home supporters.

Verdict: Correct decision


Jurgen Locadia injury v Derby County

Jurgen Locadia looks like he could be out for a while for Brighton after crumpling to the floor with nobody around him at the Amex. His screams could be heard above the din of the crowd but there was no suggestion of foul play. Happily the Brighton physios were straight over to him and whistler David Coote (who was excellent all game) let the play continue, as Locadia was just about off the pitch anyway when he went down.

Verdict: Correct decision

Tomas Kalas yellow card v Wolves

A booking for Kalas after he tripped up Raul Jimenez, who looked to be closing in on goal. With this in mind for us he was lucky not to see red as he was definitely the last man and Jimenez was away.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Crystal Palace penalty appeal v Doncaster Rovers

Bizarre scenes at the Keepmoat where Palace really should have had a penalty when leading 1-0. Patrick van Aanholt drove into the box on the left and tried to cut the ball back, but a sliding Paul Downing blocked it, blatantly, with his arm. Ref Mike Dean – who was otherwise excellent – didn’t see it and then to add insult to injury for the Eagles the Donny full-back then shamelessly clutched his face as if it had been hit with the ball.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Ezri Konsa red card v Swansea City

Ezri Konsa TEAMtalk

Talk about a game of two halves. Brentford were good value for a 1-0 half-time lead against Swansea but completely capitulated in the second stanza. A tough task became even tougher too when Konsa was dismissed when they were 2-1 down. Daniel James went clean through and the Frenchman completely took him out in the middle of the pitch. Poor challenge. Clear red.

Verdict: Correct decision


Swansea City disallowed goal v Brentford

The Swans thought they had grabbed a fourth when the lively Bersant Celina cut in onto his right foot and drew a reflex save from the keeper. It was only palmed into the path of Connor Roberts though, who gleefully poked it in. However while the Welsh side were celebrating the referee signalled that the goal was being chalked off for offside. It looked a poor decision, as Roberts was a good yard behind Celina when he fired in his shot.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Nemanja Matic foul on N’Golo Kante v Chelsea

Biggest talking point on Monday evening (apart from THAT cross from Paul Pogba) was whether Matic should have walked after fouling Kante. The pair used to be brothers in arms in Chelsea’s midfield once upon a time but were combative rivals on the night, and Matic risked the wrath of the officials after going in hard on Kante when already on a booking.

He could have had few complaints really as it was clumsy but the officials didn’t think it merited a second caution and we are happy to give them the benefit of the doubt. Whether Roman Abramovich will do likewise with with Maurizio Sarri is another matter.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Crystal Palace

OK Palace got the win but Mike Dean failing to spot a clear handball by Doncaster’s Downing was a bit of a joke. The defender may also be in line for a BAFTA too after the way he held his face to insinuate the ball had hit him there.


Stonewall decision of the Week

Konsa red card

The Bees defender can have few complaints after being dismissed for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. James got to the ball ahead of him but was chopped down like an old oak tree by Konsa, who to be fair didn’t really dispute the card once he saw it.