Ref Review: Spurs get huge luck during win; Arsenal denied by officials

Danny Rose TEAMtalk

Manchester United were not helped by the referee in their defeat at West Ham, Arsenal were also denied a spot-kick, while one of the Premier League’s winless teams were get the “most brassed off” award 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.

West Ham first goal v Manchester United

Felipe Anderson TEAMtalk

No question that West Ham were worthy winners at the London Stadium as Jose Mourinho’s joyless season lurched from bad to worse. However Pablo Zabaleta was just offside when receiving the ball before squaring to Felipe Anderson (as was Anderson for that matter) so the goal should not have stood. It was marginal, but both players were definitely off.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Arsenal penalty appeal v Watford

Alexandre Lacazette TEAMtalk

The Gunners got the job done in the end thanks to a couple of late goals but were unhappy not to be awarded a first-half penalty at The Emirates. It looked like Alexandre Lacazette was fouled by Christian Kabasele but because he stayed on his feet Anthony Taylor didn’t give it. We feel that if the Frenchman had gone down it would’ve almost certainly been a penalty so it’s disappointing Taylor didn’t make the correct call on this occasion.

The FA and the Premier League insist they want to cut out diving but it seems that in situations such as these honesty is not always rewarded.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Everton penalty v Fulham

Interesting call at Goodison where originally it looked like the ref wasn’t going to blow for what looked a clear foul on Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Everton star seemed to be pushed off course in the area by Denis Odoi and it eventually took the intervention of the referee’s assistant for the penalty to be given. Replays confirmed it was the right call. Clumsy from Odoi.

Verdict: Correct decision

Tottenham penalty v Huddersfield Town

Danny Rose TEAMtalk

At first glance there didn’t look to be too much contact when Danny Rose went down in the area. What we will say is that referee Craig Pawson was in an excellent position. Rose went down in the area under pressure from Flo Hadergjonaj and it seemed if there was any contact, it was entirely minimal. Pawson was quick to call it but we feel this was a very soft award at a crucial point in proceedings.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Brighton penalty appeal v Manchester City

The outcome of this one was rarely in doubt once Raheem Sterling had put the champions in front. Indeed as a contest it was pretty one-sided as City had 28 attempts at goal, while the visitors had just four. However Chris Hughton felt his side should have been given a penalty late on when the ball appeared to hit Fernandinho’s arm in the box. It did look a legitimate claim to us and the Brazilian may well have got away with one.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Leicester City penalty v Newcastle United

Harry Maguire DeAndre Yedlin TEAMtalk

After a succession of James Maddison corners, England centre back Harry Maguire saw his hooked effort strike DeAndre Yedlin’s arm. Referee Simon Hooper pointed straight to the spot, and Jamie Vardy coolly converted the penalty to give his side the advantage. Yedlin has his arms up to protect his face as much as anything but if you do that in your own box you are often asking for trouble.

Verdict: Correct decision

Newcastle United penalty appeal v Leicester City

Hooper again had a decision to make when Ayoze Perez was bundled to the floor in the box by Harry Maguire, but this time the official waved away the protests in front of the Gallowgate End. Newcastle fans weren’t happy, but the decision, while tight, was on reflection correct.

Verdict: Correct decision


Cardiff City penalty appeal v Burnley

One of the more half-hearted appeals for a penalty you will see this season occurred in the first half of this one as James Tarkowski and Sean Morrison tussled in the box. Ref Martin Atkinson had a really good view of it and instinctively said no penalty, while presumably whispering ‘behave yourselves’ under his breath.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award

 Mathias Zanka Jorgensen TEAMtalk

Huddersfield Town

The Terriers – who have yet to win in seven matches – were always going to be up against it but will argue two key decisions went against them on Saturday. Firstly Craig Pawson didn’t blow for a foul when it looked like Chris Lowe was upended on the edge of the Spurs box very early on. Whether he was inside or just outside of the box is another matter but it definitely looked like a foul. And then the same referee gave Spurs a contentious penalty which effectively killed the game as a contest.


Stonewall decision of the week

Everton penalty

Referee Roger East originally seemed to wave away Everton’s appeals for a penalty after Calvert-Lewin was pushed over by Odoi. His assistant, who had a clear view, was waving his flag furiously however and common sense eventually prevailed.