Ref Review: How did Tottenham get away with it? Pogba decision bang on

All the big decisions from matchday 14 of the Premier League – some good, some not so good.

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.


Chelsea penalty v Newcastle United

Chelsea suffered an early scare but in the end won with a bit to spare at Stamford Bridge. They scored three times, one of the goals a penalty from Eden Hazard that came about after Victor Moses, chasing a Cesc Fabregas pass, was felled by Matt Ritchie for a spot-kick awarded that was about as blatant as they come.

Verdict: Correct decision


Watford 1st penalty appeal v Tottenham

Seconds before Spurs levelled against the Hornets the hosts were screaming for a penalty after Richarlison took a tumble after tangling with Ben Davies. Referee Martin Atkinson, quite rightly, was not having it though and waved play on.

Verdict: Correct decision


Watford 2nd penalty appeal v Tottenham

Watford should have had a penalty in stoppage time though when Eric Dier handled Richarlison’s ball into the box. It was a blatant hand to ball movement and how ref Martin Atkinson waved it away remains a mystery.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Davinson Sanchez red card v Watford

It’s been a wretched week for Tottenham, who have seen their title hopes evaporate after three poor results in the league. Their cause was not helped on Saturday by Davinson Sanchez, who was shown a straight red for blocking Richarlison with an arm across the face at Vicarage Road. The referee was well positioned and got it bang on in our view. His arm was up in a dangerous, unnatural position and he clearly caught the Brazilian. What was the young defender thinking?

Verdict: Correct decision

Brighton penalty v Liverpool

Hands down one of the most bizarre penalty awards of the season. Jordan Henderson was adjudged to have pushed Shane Duffy but if there was any contact, it was minimal in the extreme and truth be told if refs are to consistently give penalties for stuff like that they’d end up giving a dozen per game. No real damage done for the Reds though, who were 3-0 up at the time and went on to punch out a 5-1 win.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Crystal Palace penalty appeal v West Brom

Controversy in the first half during Alan Pardew’s first game as Baggies boss. Ben Foster touched a back pass with his hand, then took Wilfried Zaha out when he jumped on the loose ball. However whistler Michael Oliver elected not to blow up for a penalty. Zaha has a reputation as someone who can be a bit ‘theatrical’ in the area but even if it’s not a penalty Palace should have had a free-kick for Foster handling the back pass.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Paul Pogba red card v Arsenal

It was Pogba’s first red card in a league game since May 2013 but what a time to collect it. It means United’s main man will miss the Manchester derby. And to be fair it was an absolutely shocking challenge. Pogba left his stud marks all over the back of Hector Bellerin’s leg and United fans can have no complaints about the dismissal. On reflection he fully deserved to go.

Verdict: Correct decision


Adam Smith yellow card v Southampton

Huge moment in the south coast derby at the Vitality Stadium when Adam Smith went to ground in the area after tangling with Sofiane Boufal. Smith was booked for simulation by John Moss but replays showed he was definitely impeded by the Moroccan international, though the fall was somewhat dramatic. Boss Eddie Howe was raging afterwards, stating “For me it’s a stonewall penalty.” We would be inclined to agree and it looks a poor call from Mr Moss.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award


The Cherries are five points clear of the relegation zone as things stand but you wonder whether that decision not to give them a penalty on Sunday will come back to haunt them in the final reckoning at the end of the season? Adam Smith, who will now serve a ban after a fifth yellow of the season, revealed John Moss apologised to him afterwards and admitted he should have awarded a penalty. The score was 0-0 at the time and if Bournemouth had been awarded and scored the spot-kick it would have put them firmly in the box seat in terms of winning the game.


Stonewall decision of the week

Pogba red card

There have been plenty defending the Frenchman in the wake of his dismissal in north London. But ask yourselves the following questions. Was there malice in there? Probably not. Did he endanger Bellerin? Unquestionably, and it’s more through luck than judgement that the Arsenal man was not more seriously injured. Pogba will be a huge miss in the Manchester derby, as his display up until seeing red underlined just how big a player he is for the Red Devils.