Ref Review: Liverpool’s Anfield penalty debacle continues

Liverpool were denied more than one penalty at Anfield, again, while Gabriel Jesus was handed the a booking worth taking, all 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 #1 v Brighton

Liverpool have had very little joy out of referees all season at Anfield and the Kop was seething early on against Brighton. Ref Kevin Friend was looking straight at the player as Shane Duffy seemingly handled the ball in the penalty area as he tried to head away a cross. Nothing given, but Gary Neville on commentary said he thought Brighton had got away with one. “He’s fortunate, it looks like a penalty,” said Neville, who let’s have it right could hardly ever be accused of bias in favour of Liverpool.
Verdict: Incorrect decision

Liverpool penalty appeal #2 v Brighton

Reds fans went from seething to absolutely furious when Friend again said ‘no’ to what looked like a stick on penalty as Duffy chopped down Mo Salah in the area. Duffy got none of the ball and plenty of the Egyptian so we are still not sure how that wasn’t given.
Verdict: Incorrect decision 

Burnley offside v Bournemouth

Legitimate late contender for miss of the season, so Chris Wood will probably be thankful he was saved by the flag. Aaron Lennon served up an absolute tap-in on a plate for the boy Wood, but he somehow ballooned his effort from all of two yards out. Huge miss, guffaws around the ground, so the Burnley striker will have been mega grateful to see that Lennon was offside. Good call from the officials. Shambolic from Wood.

Verdict: Correct decision  

Newcastle United penalty appeal v Chelsea 

Another contentious spot-kick appeal on Tyneside as Cesar Azpilicueta was caught the wrong side of Ayoze Perez in the first half against the Blues. He grappled with Perez, but the Spaniard bizarrely didn’t go down, even though he appeared to be wearing a Chelsea shirt at one point.
Verdict: Incorrect decision

Stoke City disallowed goal v Swansea City 

Xherdan Shaqiri threaded a ball through for Badou Ndiaye to charge onto in the second half at the Liberty. Ndiaye did brilliantly to get there and finished with aplomb into the bottom corner, but the flag was up. Looked a dubious call on reflection.
Verdict: Incorrect decision 

Tottenham second goal v Leicester City 

Pure drama at Wembley as the Foxes played out a goalfest with Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino’s men looked dead in the water at 1-3 down but straight from the kick-off Spurs attacked, and got themselves back to within a goal when Kyle Walker-Peters’ cross from the right was turned in from close-range by Erik Lamela, who was just in-line. A close call. But a decent one.
Verdict: Correct decision 

Gabriel Jesus yellow card v Southampton

The best booking of the season? If one is to get a yellow card, then there is probably no better way to do it than by scoring a last-gasp, 100 point-clinching winning goal then ripping off your shirt and diving into an adoring away end.
Verdict: Correct decision 

Team most likely to feel brassed off award 

Possibly a controversial choice given they end up winning the game 4-0. However, one wonders if Liverpool are ever going to be awarded another penalty? Two clear penalties within 10 minutes of each other not given early on at Anfield. You know it’s bad when Gary Neville, who is usually about as welcome on Merseyside as a verruca in a swimming pool, said they should have had two penalties.

Stonewall decision of the week 

Jesus yellow card 

It was some finish, but Jesus’ jubilation left Andre Marriner with little option at St Mary’s. Those squares at FIFA dictate that if a player removes his shirt he should automatically be booked. Even if you’ve just scored a delicious lob in the dying moments of an historic season.

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