Ref Review: Liverpool get lucky; Charlie Austin left incredulous

Liverpool got lucky at Anfield as Fulham saw a goal ruled out, while Southampton also, somewhat bizarrely also saw a good goal chalked off, 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.


Dale Stephens red card v Cardiff City

Cardiff recorded a huge 2-1 win against Brighton and there’s no doubting that the pendulum swung in their favour when Stephens was send off for a dangerous lunge on Greg Cunningham. Stephens went in studs up on a stationary player. In the modern era that’s always going to spell trouble and he can have no complaints about the decision.

Verdict: Correct decision


Newcastle penalty appeal v Bournemouth

Huge collective cry for a penalty by the the Newcastle fans on Tyneside as the impressive Salomon Rondon headed an effort against Callum Wilson’s arm inside the area. However it was deemed not deliberate by Lee Probert. Solid call too from the man in the middle as Wilson’s arms were by his side.

Verdict: Correct decision

Bournemouth offside v Newcastle

Bournemouth had the ball in the back of the net late on against the Toon, but it was ruled out for offside. David Brooks’ strike flicked off Nathan Ake and to be fair it was a quality save from Martin Dubravka. The ball eventually fell to to Dan Gosling who turned it in. However he was offside when doing so. Right call.

Verdict: Correct decision


Watford penalty appeal v Southampton

Chalobah Redmond TEAMtalk

On Saturday we saw two hugely contentious decisions at St Mary’s, the first when Saints skipper Nathan Redmond seemed to hack down Nathan Chalobah in the box. It looked a certain spot kick for the visitors but ref Simon Hooper, who had a decent vantage point, was unmoved. Not so Chalobah, who smashed his hand against the turf in frustration. And he had every right to be furious. It was a poor challenge from Bertrand, who got none of the ball and fouled Chalobah with a sliding, scissor tackle.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Southampton disallowed goal v Watford

The second big moment in the game arrived when Charlie Austin thought he had doubled the Saints’ lead after a smart finish but his strike was disallowed after Simon Hooper, who was refereeing just his fourth Premier League match, somehow came to the conclusion that Maya Yoshida had interfered with the ball from an offside position. Yoshida was marginally offside when Austin struck but not active and definitely not in the Watford keepers’ eyeline.

The ref also seemed to gesture that Yoshida may have got a headed touch on the ball, which just didn’t happen as if anything Yoshida moved his head away from the ball. A furious Austin could not hide his frustrations afterwards as he gave the officials both barrels.
“It’s ridiculous, they shouldn’t be in the game,” Austin told television reporters. “We scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled out for offside. The officials cost us two points. They said it was offside, that is a joke.”

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Fulham disallowed goal v Liverpool

Fulham were so unlucky at Anfield as they had what looked like a legitimate goal chalked off for offside before conceding just 14 seconds later as Mo Salah raced down the other end to finish smartly. It was a very tight call with replays suggesting Alexsandar Mitrovic was level as the ball came over to him prior to him planting a smart header past the hapless Allison.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Yerry Mina yellow card v Chelsea

Mina was penalised for a foul on Eden Hazard. Everton’s players were not happy about it and immediately ran over to referee Kevin Friend to protest. The Colombian did seem to win the ball but took a lot of the man too. Graeme Souness suggested afterwards on another day it could have been a red but the decision to caution Mina, who otherwise had a fine game in west London, looked OK to us.

Verdict: Correct decision

Alvaro Morata disallowed goal v Everton

Alvaro Morata TEAMtalk

Chelsea had huffed and puffed all afternoon against the Toffees then midway through the second half Stamford Bridge erupted as Cesar Azpilicueta crossed and Alvaro Morata tapped home from inside the six-yard box. Alas the the flag was up immediately and replays showed it was the right decision, despite the striker’s protests.

Verdict: Correct decision


Team most likely to feel brassed off award


There was no hiding place for Simon Hooper and his assistants on the south coast. Two big calls and he got them both badly wrong. Watford won’t be best pleased themselves as they should definitely have had a penalty but at 1-0 up Southampton will feel having Austin’s goal ruled out, incorrectly, has almost certainly have cost them three points.


Stonewall decision of the Week

Dale Stephens TEAMtalk

Stephens red card

There were a few dissenting voices on social media claiming the fact that Stephens got some of the ball, meaning he should not have been dismissed. However if you go in studs up and out of control on another player these days it is largely irrelevant whether you get the ball or not. In reflection it’s more through luck that judgement that Cunningham was not seriously hurt.