Ref Review: Frustrated Paul Pogba should have walked at Old Trafford

Paul Pogba TEAMtalk

Paul Pogba was lucky not to end the season with a red card after Sunday’s shock 2-0 home defeat to relegated Cardiff, while Fulham can feel sorry for themselves after losing to Newcastle, 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.


Cardiff City penalty v Manchester United

If those connected to Manchester United were not sure about the sheer scale of the rebuilding job needed at Old Trafford this summer, this horrific 2-0 reverse to already relegated Cardiff underlined it in emphatic fashion. That said, the Bluebirds were definitely fortunate with their first goal. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing just seemed to fall over in the box under pressure from Diogo Dalot, yet somehow referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot. Amazingly United have only kept two clean sheets at home in the Premier League this season, their lowest total since the 1962/63 campaign.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Paul Pogba yellow card v Cardiff City

Pogba was given a torrid time by Josh Murphy at Old Trafford and just after the hour his frustrations got the better of him as he slammed his time-wasting opponent to the floor then seemed to push him in the face. Lucky to stay on the pitch? The Frenchmen clearly lost his cool and we’ve seen players sent off for far less this season.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

José Holebas red card v West Ham

Oh dear oh dear. With an FA Cup final around the corner Holebas manages to get himself sent off, ensuring he will now miss the Wembley showpiece. He can have few complaints either after being caught pulling back Michail Antonio, who was through on goal. Chris Kavanagh didn’t hesitate, brandishing the red to shatter Holebas’ FA Cup dreams.

Verdict: Correct decision


West Ham penalty v Watford

Ten-man Watford imploded in spectacular fashion on Sunday to hand West Ham a top-half finish at their expense. The Hornets simply could not contain the bustling Michail Antonio, who won a penalty late on when Kiko Femenía bundled him over in the area.

Verdict: Correct decision


Fulham disallowed goal v Newcastle United

Fulham ended up on the wrong end of a 4-0 spanking at Craven Cottage but it could have been very different if they didn’t have a goal incorrectly chalked off with the score at 2-0. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa smashed an initial effort goalwards, which Floyd Ayite turned home with an outstretched boot. Kevin Friend immediately blew for offside, but replays confirmed he was definitely on. Tough on Fulham, who have endured a season to forget.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Ashley Barnes yellow card v Arsenal

Ashley Barnes TEAMtalk

Bizarre passage of play this. The home side could have had a penalty when Bernd Leno barged right through the back of Barnes when looking to release the ball out of his hand. Incredibly it was the felled Burnley striker who was shown a yellow card. Mike Dean got this one wrong we reckon.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Chelsea penalty appeal v Leicester City

Eden Hazard may well have played his last Premier League game for Chelsea. He started on the bench at the King Power and was introduced with 20 minutes remaining. With the clock ticking down he also had a muted appeal for a penalty knocked back after tumbling over in the box, but referee Anthony Taylor waved play on (there was contact as the Belgian was felled but it looked accidental) and in the end neither side were able to find a winner.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off Award

Fulham TEAMtalk


It’s all perhaps a bit academic given Fulham were relegated with five matches still to play but it would have been interesting to see how this game might have played out if Ayite’s effort had not been incorrectly chalked off. The Cottagers dominated possession against the Magpies and at 1-2 it would obviously have been a very different game.


Stonewall decision of the Week

West Ham penalty

Michail Antonio was magnificent all afternoon for the Hammers at Vicarage Road and far too lively for Femenía, who body-checked him in the box to concede one of the more blatant penalties of the season.