Ref Review: Our take on Sanchez’s controversial opener

Date published: Monday 13th February 2017 10:22

A detailed look at all the controversial decisions during this weekend’s Premier League action and Arsenal can consider themselves fortunate.

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.

Arsenal first goal v Hull City

The Gunners’ 2-0 home win was a much needed boost to fragile confidence but should the north Londoner outfit’s first goal have stood? Arsenal took the lead on 34 minutes but Alexis Sanchez appeared to apply the finishing touch with his hand.

Hull were rightfully outraged and even Arsene Wenger admitted afterwards: “I am responsible for many things but not the referee’s decisions so I feel sorry for Hull.”

It happened so quickly and it’s obviously a tough one for the officials but ref Mark Clattenburg has bags of top level experience and really should have done much better here.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Kieran Gibbs yellow card v Hull City

Hull just couldn’t catch a break at the Emirates and felt that Gibbs should have seen red rather than yellow for his illegal challenge on Lazar Markovic early in the second half.

Clattenburg took the view that the ball was possibly going away from goal but it was plenty contentious and Hull surrounded the ref to remonstrate when they saw the colour of the card.

Jeff Stelling, watching from the Sky Sports studio, was in no doubt, shouting “Clattenburg is having a nightmare” and losing his head with Tony Cottee who was unsure about the decision.

Gibbs was the last man and he definitely took poor Markovic out. On reflection, the Arsenal man should have been having an early bath as he had intentionally pushed Markovic to the ground, thereby denying a goalscoring opportunity.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Sam Clucas red card v Arsenal

Clattenburg eventually got a call right but again it was to Hull’s detriment as Sam Clucas was dismissed in the closing stages for handball at the Emirates.

Lucas Perez’s stoppage-time header was on its way in before Clucas kept it out, illegally, with his arm. He had to go.

Verdict: Correct decision


West Brom opening goal v West Ham

Nacer Chadli: Carves open Hammers defence

It was a lovely bit of skill and a great finish from Nacer Chadli but the Hammers felt the ref should have blew for a foul on Sofiane Feghouli moments earlier.

There was a collision between Feghouli and Chris Brunt and from a West Ham point of view it did look as though the latter may have left his foot in. However it would have been a very soft foul had it have been given.

Verdict: Correct decision


West Ham offside ‘goal’ v West Brom

Another incident involving the ubiquitous Feghouli, who had the ball in the net on 19 minutes but it was chalked off by Michael Oliver for offside.

West Ham were furious and had a case as it definitely looked like the felled Craig Dawson was playing Feghouli on. Slaven Bilic’s number two Nikola Jurcevic completely lost the plot over the call, racing down the touchline to blast the referee’s assistant, an action that saw him sent to the stands.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Manolo Gabbiadini first goal v Sunderland

Southampton were emphatic winners in the end on Wearside but their opening goal was controversial. Ryan Bertrand swung in an inviting cross and the ball ended up going in off Gabbiadini’s arm.

Ref Paul Tierney was happy enough to let the goal stand, much to the chagrin of Black Cats boss David Moyes.
It may not have been intentional but he clearly steered the ball goalwards with his upper arm and last time we checked this was not in the rules.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Joey Barton yellow card v Chelsea

Barton put in a fine shift against the Premier League leaders but there was an inevitability about his booking given how competitive the game was. He clattered into Willian with time running out and it was an obvious caution.

Verdict: Correct decision


Swansea penalty claim v Leicester City

The game was just a few minutes old when Gylfi Sigurdsson’s effort struck the arm of a diving Wes Morgan in the area. To be fair the Foxes skipper knew very little about it as the ball stuck his arm from close range. The home fans went up in unison but the ref was having none of it.

Verdict: Correct decision


Team most likely to feel brasses off award

Hull City

There can be no debate about this one. The footballing Gods were against Hull on Saturday to ensure they left the Emirates with nothing. Sanchez’s opening goal should not have stood and on another day Arsenal would have had to play a large chunk of the second half with just 10 men after what happened with Gibbs and Markovic.


Stonewall decision of the week

Arsenal penalty

The final result was tough on Hull given the chutzpah they showed on the day, but Clucas could have no complaints about getting his marching orders after deftly keeping Perez’s header out with his arm.

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