Ref Review: Liverpool hard done by v Stoke

Date published: Monday 30th April 2018 1:53

The referees just did not want to give penalties this weekend and Liverpool and Arsenal were on the receiving end as we take a look in Ref Review.


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.


Liverpool penalty appeal v Stoke City

A decision that divided opinion amongst commentators and folk on social media all weekend long. Liverpool felt they were denied a penalty after it appeared Stoke defender Eric Pieters handled the ball. Fans argued the ‘handball’ was not dissimilar to the one called on James Milner in midweek against Roma.

It really is one that could have gone either way this so we have a bit of sympathy for Andre Marriner and his team. However it could be argued that Pieters’ hand was not in a natural position. Jordan Henderson later attacked the officiating that led to Liverpool being denied a late penalty for a “blatant” handball in Saturday’s 0-0 draw. It certainly wasn’t blatant but we’d have had no problem with it being given.

Line of the week goes to one particular wag on Twitter who said of Marriner’s performance generally “Andre Marriner would have waved play on in Dallas 1963.”

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Marc Albrighton red card v Crystal Palace

Albrighton was dismissed at Selhurst Park after hauling down Wilfried Zaha and while it was the right call, Mike Dean initially looked reluctant to give it until consulting one of his colleagues on the line. He denied a goalscoring opportunity as the last man so had to go.

Verdict: Correct decision


West Ham penalty appeal v Manchester City

West Ham were definitely out of luck with this one. Ilkay Gundogan left a leg in and caught Edimilson Fernandes, bringing him tumbling to the ground. Neil Swarbrick called the foul but elected to give a free-kick just outside the area when replays showed the contact came just inside the area.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Manchester City penalty appeal v West Ham

Raheem Sterling, with good reason, was absolutely livid after being denied a penalty after a second half foul by Aaron Cresswell. A truly astonishing decision as it looked the very definition of a stone-waller. We have watched it back a few times and are still not sure how either the ref or the linesman didn’t give it. It was a mistimed challenge from Creswell and a clear penalty.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Granit Xhaka yellow card v Manchester United

There are few players in European football who pick up yellow cards with the gusto or regularity of Xhaka. However this latest one for pulling down Jesse Lingard on Sunday looked very harsh. It was his first foul and there didn’t look to be much in it at all.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Arsenal penalty appeal v Manchester United

Penalty shout at Old Trafford on Ainsley Maitland-Niles by Gunners old boy Alexis Sanchez. It all happened very quick but replays showed Sanchez’s clumsy challenge on Maitland-Niles was definitely worth an appeal to the officials. If Sanchez didn’t get a touch, and we are not sure he did, then it probably should have been a penalty. The main thing that saved United was that Maitland-Niles himself didn’t really appeal to the referee. Would it have been given at the Emirates?

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Manchester United offside v Arsenal

Moments before they actually did win it in injury-time at Old Trafford, the Red Devils thought they’d won it after Marcus Rashford bundled the ball home after Marouane Fellaini’s original header had ricocheted back off he post. However the young England man was rightly flagged for offside.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award


The main issue being that the Stoke defender’s arm was a fair distance away from his body and not in a natural position. There were also two Liverpool players waiting behind Pieters to tuck the ball home. Reds fans have been perplexed at the low number of penalties awarded to Liverpool at Anfield this season. It’s crazy to think that Tottenham have been awarded more penalties at Anfield this season than Liverpool.

Stonewall decision of the week

Albrighton red card

Albrighton dismissed for dragging down Zaha who could have been clear through on goal. The Leicester man was furious, but he can have few complaints.


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