Ref Review: Mike Dean under spotlight after Sterling gaffe

Raheem Sterling: The victim

Our panel debate the big decisions in the Premier League this weekend, with Juan Mata’s red card escape and Raheem Sterling’s “dive” on the agenda.

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 most fortunate and which was the easiest decision for a match official to make.

Marcos Alonso goal v Chelsea

Arsenal Wenger claimed afterwards that Chelsea’s opening goal on Saturday was “100 per cent a foul”. But was it though?

Pedro had swung in a delicious cross that Diego Costa thumped against the bar, before Alonso beat Hector Bellerin to the rebound before nodding home.

Bellerin was left in a heap as Chelsea celebrated and the Arsenal man was eventually substituted after failing to fully recover from the challenge. He was clearly caught by an elbow as Alonso jumped and while there was no intent a case could be made for calling a foul for dangerous play. The challenge was robust at best, at worst illegal.

Blues boss Antonio Conte alluded afterwards that the goal may have been chalked off in his native Italy. A foul is a foul surely though? Whether it takes place down the Old Kent Road or the Italian Riveria.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Lamine Kone goal v Crystal Palace

The atmosphere at Selhurst Park was toxic following the Eagles’ shambolic 4-0 home defeat to lowly Sunderland.

And the fans were raging that the Black Cats’ opening goal was not chalked off by Andre Marriner when goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey dropped the ball under pressure from Billy Jones. Palace felt the challenge on Hennessey was unfair.

The truth of the matter is though the Palace ‘keeper flapped at the ball and, significantly, did not appeal or remonstrate towards the referee when Sunderland scored.

Verdict: Correct decision


Jeff Hendrick red card v Watford

Just six minutes had elapsed when Hendrick lost his head and went in two-footed on Jose Holebas right in front of the Watford dug out.

It was a shocking challenge to be fair and while Hendrick was surprised to see the colour of the card from ref Michael Oliver he can have few complaints.

Even Clarets boss Sean Dyche admitted afterwards: “It’s a tough one I think for the referee. I can see why he has had to give it.”

Verdict: Correct decision


Burnley penalty v Watford

Lively game at Vicarage Road and at 2-0 10 man Burnley were handed a lifeline when Sebastian Prodl was adjudged to have blocked a Joey Barton shot on goal with his hand. Prodl was not a happy bunny and replays showed that while the ball did strike his arm, his arm was actually by his side.

Marginal call, but on reflection the right one.

Verdict: Correct decision


Victor Valdes clash with Dele Alli

The Spanish ‘keeper could face retrospective action and a possible three-game ban after twice pushing England midfielder Alli in the face following a goalmouth altercation. It’s not really clear why Valdes was so irate but his actions should have ended in him being carded.

The second push was a blatant palm into the face of Alli, which was not seen by referee Mark Clattenburg.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Tottenham penalty v Middlesbrough

Harry Kane: Scores 16th goal of the season

Spurs were dominating against Boro but getting slightly anxious as time ticked away with the score at 0-0 at White Hart Lane.

Heung-Min Son though suddenly proved too tricky in the area for Bernardo Espinosa, who brought him down. Referee Clattenburg was well placed. Definite spot kick – and a chance that Harry Kane wasn’t about to pass up.

Verdict: Correct decision


Manchester City penalty appeal v Swansea

Just six minutes into Sunday’s clash at the Etihad and the home fans were howling for a penalty. Alfie Mawson was all over Gabriel Jesus in the area and after a bit of rough and tumble the Manchester City ace eventually went to ground in the box. Referee Mike Dean is perfectly placed to be fair and rules, correctly, that no foul had been committed.

Verdict: Correct decision


Raheem Sterling yellow card v Swansea

Pretty puzzling decision as Sterling was booked for simulation towards the end of the first half at the Etihad. The England man was picked out by a delicious ball from deep and as Lukasz Fabianski flew out to intercept, Sterling went over his legs.

Mike Dean saw it as a dive but it looked an impossibly harsh call as there is no way Sterling was looking for a penalty.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Juan Mata red card escape v Leicester City

There’s no getting away from the fact it was a very naughty challenge by Mata on Jamie Vardy. Studs showing and reckless he jumped in to send the Leicester striker flying.

Referee Anthony Taylor reached straight for his pocket, but only produced a yellow. In truth it could, and possibly should, have been red.

To add insult to injury Mata added the Red Devils’ third goal to effectively end the match as a contest.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Claudio Ranieri: Not giving much away

Leicester City

Mata’s goal after 49 minutes sealed victory for the Red Devils, but should he have still been on the pitch by then? Mata caught Vardy high on his ankle with a late, ugly challenge and the Spaniard even admitted afterwards: “I was obviously late and probably a bit lucky.”

If he had been sent off by Anthony Taylor, with the score still 0-0, the whole complexion of the game would have changed.

Stonewall decision of the week

Hendrick red card v Watford

BBC pundit Trevor Sinclair was in no doubt, commenting: “Definite red card. Really, really cowardly challenge.”

Watford full-back Holebas could have been seriously injured following the wild lunge and the fact he wasn’t was more to do with luck than judgement. It was over the top and ref Michael Oliver