Ref Review: Michael Oliver’s horror showing leaves fans fuming

Michael Oliver TEAMtalk

Huddersfield fans were left fuming with Michael Oliver after Saturday’s home defeat to Brighton with boss David Wagner in no doubt why his side lost, 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.


Steven Mounie red card v Brighton

Steve Mounie TEAMtalk

Mounie was dismissed after leaving a foot in on Yves Bissouma as the two challenged for a 50/50. It was clearly not a good challenge, studs showing, and Michael Oliver wasted no time in dismissing the Huddersfield man. Charlie Nicholas in the Sky studios wasn’t having it however, saying: “He has tickled his shin pad and there was hardy any contact – he was trying to pull out of it.”

Mounie’s immediate reaction was of dismay and Bissouma certainly made the most of it.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Pritchard penalty

Alex Pritchard TEAMtalk

The Terriers also arguably should have had a penalty kick when Alex Pritchard was seemingly dragged to the floor by his throat from a first-half corner, but Michael Oliver waved away appeals.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Balogun red card claim

Full-back Erik Durm was the subject of a crunching challenge from substitute Leon Balogun, which upon replay was twice as bad as the tackle which saw Mounie see red. Balogun makes contact high on Durm’s planted ankle and could have caused a nasty injury, but once again Oliver misjudged the incident.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Leicester City penalty v Watford

Vardy’s first-half penalty had put Leicester ahead, with the forward converting from the spot for the second week running after being brought down by Ben Foster in the box. Foster protested his innocence after the game, stating: “I felt like I pulled my arms away but from where I was it just felt unnatural that he stuck his leg out that far.” However after watching it a few times the award looked pretty straight forward to us .

Verdict: Correct decision

Watford penalty appeal v Leicester City

When trailing 2-0 against the Foxes Watford thought they had a lifeline when Will Hughes went to ground in the area as Wilfred Ndidi put a leg across the Watford midfielder as he tries to make his way into the area.
Replays later showed it was outside the area, but strangely absolutely nothing was given by the officials. Not sure about that one as while the infringement happened just outside the area the Hornets should have been given a free-kick at the very least.

Verdict: Correct decision


Etienne Capoue red card v Leicester City

Capoue red card TEAMtalk

Capoue was sent off a minute from time after a two‑footed tackle on Kelechi Iheanacho. However Hornets boss Javier Gracia stated afterwards that the club intend to appeal the decision.

Gracia said “I saw it clear because it was in front of me. I prefer not to say anything only what Iheanacho said. He said Capoue didn’t touch him and that is more important than what I can say.” It was a red that divided opinion as while Capoue did technically go in two-footed it was more due to him losing his footing than anything truly malicious.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Marouane Fellaini yellow card v Southampton

Fellaini picked up his first booking of the season after wafting an arm in the direction of Mario Lemina in the first half at St Mary’s. It was clumsy rather than dangerous play so on reflection a yellow was about right.

Verdict: Correct decision


Tottenham penalty v Arsenal

Heung-min Son won Spurs a penalty in a frantic North London derby but there were question marks as to whether whether Rob Holding actually made contact with the forward. Holding went sliding in on Son but seemed to miss his legs if anything and so he can count himself unlucky.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Jan Vertonghen red card v Arsenal

Jan Verthonghen TEAMtalk

A miserable afternoon for Spurs was rounded off by Vertonghen being sent to the stands after catching Alexandre Lacazette on the ankle. Having been booked earlier in the game for handball, sliding in like he did was always going to prove risky.

Decision: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Huddersfield Town

In his post-match conference, when asked if the red card decision cost his side defeat David Wagner simply responded: “Yes”. The German was particularly scathing of Michael Oliver afterwards and hinted they may appeal the red. There’s no doubt the dismissal was a game-changer and cost the Terriers the chance to record consecutive wins for the first time since February.

Stonewall decision of the week

Vertonghen red card

It was a really poor challenge on Lacazette that got him dismissed for a second yellow and while Poch said afterwards: “I thought it was a bit unlucky” we feel Mike Dean definitely got it right.