Ref Review: Did this deserve a yellow card?

Leicester TEAMtalk

Liverpool were denied a perfectly good goal at Arsenal and should referee Lee Probert have turned a blind eye to Demarai Gray’s tribute to Khun Vichai? 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.


Bournemouth penalty appeal v Manchester United

The Red Devils were all over the shop in the first half at the Vitality Stadium and a big call came on 25 minutes from ref Paul Tierney as Luke Shaw seemed to nudge David Brooks in the back after a fine cross from Ryan Fraser. Tierney wasn’t interested and to be fair it would have been a very soft award but it was certainly risky defending from Shaw, who clearly placed two hands on the back Brooks.

Verdict: Correct decision


West Ham penalty appeal v Brighton

Arnautovic Defour TEAMtalk

Oh dear, oh dear Roger East. The whistler got this horribly, horribly wrong with West Ham already a goal to the good at the London Stadium. Grady Diangana drove into the area and Steven Defour lunged in and took him down, all rather blatantly. Incredibly East waved play on. Replays confirmed this was a stick on, with Diangana nipping the ball past his man in the box before being clipped, so it’s a mystery to us how the officials missed it.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Everton penalty appeal v Burnley

Strong appeal for a penalty for the Toffees in the first half against Burnley as Alireza Jahanbakhsh appeared to foul Lucas Digne in the area. However David Coote was unmoved and casually waved away the claims. To be fair to the officials their didn’t look to be much in it really, and on reflection it was a solid call from the referee.

Verdict: Correct decision


Leicester City penalty appeal v Cardiff City

Jamie Vardy Leicester TEAMtalk

Another massively contentious penalty appeal on Saturday and we have to say the men in the middle got it wrong again. Ricardo Pereira’s initial shot wad saved and came out to James Maddison. His effort fell at the feet of the usually lethal Jamie Vardy, who then somehow hit the bar from just a few yards out. But it looked like Vardy’s effort had come off Sol Bamba’s hand and replays confirmed it. Several Leicester players were straight onto the referee but Lee Probert remains unmoved. The Cardiff defender should have been sent off and Leicester should have had a penalty. We can’t imagine anyone who backed Jamie Vardy to score first will have been best pleased either.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Demarai Gray yellow card v Cardiff City

Gray was booked for removing his shirt after scoring for Leicester to reveal a ‘For Khun Vichai’ message. As per the letter of the law Probert – who looked suitably shamefaced – booked him. But we feel in this particular instance, on this particular occasion, the law is an ass. We know that “rules are rules” but the reason players are booked for removing their shirt is because it is deemed disrespectful and offensive. Gray’s actions ticked neither of those boxes. So while Probert did his job and applied the letter of the law, it highlights how daft this rule is.

Verdict: Correct decision


Sadio Mane offside v Arsenal

Sadio Mane TEAMtalk

Liverpool almost took the lead against the run of play at the Emirates but were denied by the offside flag, a decision that sent social media into a feeding frenzy on Saturday evening. James Milner’s ball over the top found Bobby Firmino, who poked the ball against the bar, and it then fell to Sadio Mane who tapped home into the empty net. The flag went straight up but we are not sure it was the right call. For while Mane was offside from the initial ball played through, this was not flagged as he was not classed as active. He was then clearly onside when Firmino pulled the trigger with the shot that hit the woodwork. Ergo, the goal should have stood.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Raul Jimenez offside v Tottenham

Raul Jimenez Trippier TEAMtalk

Wolves were outplayed for large swathes of the first half against Spurs but they thought they’d got a goal back through Jimenez, only for it to be ruled out for offside. Jimenez fired home after Matt Doherty pulled it back for him after he was played in by Joao Moutinho down the right. Alas the linesman’s flag on the near side cut their celebrations short. Here’s the thing though, Doherty was actually a good foot or so onside. Wolves should have had a lifeline just before half-time. Another astonishingly bad decision from the officials on a weekend riddled with them.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Manchester City first goal v Southampton

It was all perhaps academic in the end given how Pep Guardiola’s side utterly dominated proceedings, but their opening goal should not have stood. Raheem Sterling was clearly standing in an offside position – and active – when Leroy Sane crossed and Wesley Hoedt steered into his own net.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Southampton penalty v Manchester City

Wesley Hoedt Raheem Sterling TEAMtalk

The Saints were blitzed by a rampant first half display from City but at least they broke their eight-hour goal drought. It came about when John Stones lost concentration and allowed Danny Ings to get past him. Ederson raced to the edge of his area for the loose ball but instead took down the striker and it was an easy call for the referee.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award


The Mane ‘offside’ has sparked debate all weekend but when Mark Clattenburg, the former Premier League whistler and Head of Refereeing for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, says the goal should have stood then maybe it’s time to listen. It’s agreed that Mane was in an offside position from the first ball but at that point he wasn’t impacting on the defender’s ability to play the ball (with Firmino clearly onside). Once Firmino shoots Mane is clearly behind him so at that point he should not have been flagged. Huge moment in a huge game and one that’s clearly cost Liverpool.


Stonewall decision of the week

Leicester TEAMtalk

Gray yellow card

Taking the emotion completely out of it the referee had no choice in this instance and was simply following the rules. Refs get enough stick for getting things wrong so it’s a bit much to be critical of Probert for just doing his job to the letter. As an aside, Sergio Ramos once removed his shirt to celebrate a goal he scored in honour of former team-mate Antonio Puerta. He was booked, and then successfully appealed it on compassionate grounds. We imagine a similar scenario may play out here.