Ref Review: Newcastle denied penalty at Man Utd; Liverpool lucky

Ashley Young TEAMtalk

Liverpool were fortunate against Man City on Sunday, while Newcastle can consider themselves robbed after being denied a penalty at Old Trafford, 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.


Joe Ralls red card v Tottenham

Joe Ralls TEAMtalk

The Cardiff midfielder received a straight red at Wembley after a shocking foul on Lucas Moura. Ralls had been rolled by Moura just past the halfway line before cynically launching himself at the Brazilian and taking him out. OK it was not the most x-rated challenge you will ever see but there was no attempt to play the ball and he really had to go.

Neil Warnock alluded afterwards that it was the reaction of Harry Kane to the foul that got his man sent off, but the truth is justice was served as this tackle gets worse every time you see it.

Verdict: Correct decision

Wes Morgan red card v Everton

Wes Morgan TEAMtalk


Morgan was sent off for the second time in four matches on Saturday after two bookings from Andre Marriner at the King Power. It was only three weeks ago that he was given his marching orders after acquiring two yellows at Bournemouth and some Leicester fans have rounded on the man who was the cornerstone of their shock title win a few years ago.

He was booked twice for two challenges on Everton striker Richarlison, and rather unsurprisingly he wasn’t happy with the decision, commenting afterwards: “To be sent off for challenges that I feel are definitely not deserving of cards is very frustrating.” To be fair to the officials though having been booked in the first half Morgan was walking a tightrope, so clattering Richarlison on the halfway line was never going to end well and he left Marriner with precious little choice.

Verdict: Correct decision

Christian Kabasele red card v Bournemouth

Christian Kabasele TEAMtalk

Kabasele had a red card he picked up in the Carabao Cup against Spurs rescinded a few weeks ago, but we are doubtful lightening will strike twice here. The Belgian international endured a torrid afternoon and was unable to keep the shackles on the lively Josh King, who he brought down to earn Bournemouth a penalty and himself a second booking. The red card was a pivotal moment and allowed Bournemouth to take charge, but we have no problem with either booking and Kabasele had to go.

Verdict: Correct decision


Newcastle United penalty appeal v Manchester United

Ashley Young TEAMtalk

Huge, game changing moment at Old Trafford and Toon fans are probably still wondering how they didn’t get a penalty when 2-0 ahead. Jonjo Shelvey whipped a free-kick in from the left and the ball clearly struck the arm of a jumping Ashley Young in his own area, with the defender moving his arm to the ball.

Shelvey was furious as Anthony Taylor not only failed to give the penalty, he also inexcusably failed to give Newcastle a corner. A massive moment and given what Jose Mourinho’s men went on to do late on, one wonders how significant it will prove for both the Magpies and the Red Devils at the end of the season?

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Chelsea penalty appeal v Southampton

Big call on the south coast on Sunday when the inimitable Eden Hazard played a ball through to Olivier Giroud in the area. Wesley Hoedt, with zero margin for error, slid in and managed to get the ball away. Giroud hit the deck and it’s a tough one for the official to be fair but we feel Craig Pawson got it spot on.

Verdict: Correct decision

Manchester City penalty appeal v Liverpool

To be fair the appeals from City here were fairly muted which was strange as it looked a stick on penalty to us when Sergio Aguero went over in the box. However the officials were not having any of it. Joe Gomez’s poor clearance initially put Liverpool under pressure after the ball fell to Aguero in the box.

Dejan Lovren’s left leg then kicked out at Aguero. To his credit Aguero didn’t make too much of it and got up straight away. However the Croatian was reckless and definitely had a swipe at him. It was clearly a foul.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Manchester City penalty v Liverpool

Sane Van Dijk TEAMtalk

Leroy Sane’s searing pace was too much for Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, who clumsily slid in even though the German didn’t seem to be going anywhere in the area. As penalties go this was a stone-waller. Van Djk was honest enough to concede afterwards: “It was a penalty and I said it to the referee afterwards as well.

It shouldn’t have happened but obviously I’m happy that we didn’t concede. I was very happy that it didn’t go in.” We bet you are Virgil, we bet you are…

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Newcastle United

Benitez Shevley TEAMtalk

The Newcastle squad went out for pasta and pizza with under fire owner Mike Ashley last week, but Anthony Taylor’s failure to spot that Young handball will certainly prove hard to swallow. It was a gut-wrenching defeat for the Magpies, who are still without a win after eight matches. Young’s arm was in an unnatural position when the ball struck it, and we are struggling to decipher how this wasn’t a penalty when the one conceded by DeAndre Yedlin last week against Leicester City was?

If Taylor gives it and Newcastle go 3-0 up, they would have been racing certainties to pick up a much needed three points.

Stonewall decision of the week

Ralls red card

Ralls challenge on Moura is one of the most cynical you’ll see this season and while hevwasnt denying him a clear goal-scoring opportunity he was so far away from the ball when he took poor Moura out you could make a case for either violent conduct or serious foul play.