Ref Review: All the controversial moments from matchday 2

Rob McCarthy

A look at all the controversial incidents during the Premier League weekend with a number of high-profile decisions up for debate.

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.

Paul Pogba challenge v Swansea

£89million man Paul Pogba was again excellent for the Red Devils, but should he still have been on the pitch before he scored his second goal in as many games for Jose Mourinho’s side?

Pogba had already been booked when he went in late on Swansea defender Martin Olsson. The ref elected to give him a stern talking to (and perhaps a final warning) instead of brandishing another card and on reflection the decision looked sound enough.

Verdict: Correct decision

Dusan Tadic yellow card v West Ham

Tadic nearly cut Javier Hernandez in two with a wild, wild lunge by the dugouts in the first half at St Mary’s. He looked to be out of control and on reflection the Serb was a lucky boy only to see yellow.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Arnautovic red card v Southampton

Hot on the heels of Jono Shelvey’s brainless dismissal on Tyneside last week, Marko Arnautovic matches him in the ‘ridiculous red’ stakes with this shocker against Southampton.

He closed down poor Jack Stephens, who cleared his lines easily enough at St Mary’s but was then cleaned out by the Austrian with an elbow to the throat.

Lee Mason immediately gave him his marching orders and rightly so for an absolute shocker that was more MMA than FA Premier League.

Verdict: Correct decision

Southampton’s second penalty v West Ham

Southampton were awarded two spot kicks at St Mary’s and while the first was pretty clear cut after a ludicrous tug by Jose Fonte in his own box on Steven Davis, the second was not.

Pablo Zabaleta was adjudged to have nudged Maya Yoshida in the area deep into injury-time after he went up for a James Ward-Prowse cross but there was very little in it.

Lee Mason immediately pointed to the spot and Charlie Austin duly converted but it looked a very soft penalty to eventually help get Southampton over the line.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Hal Robson-Kanu red card v Burnley

Talk about hero to villain. Robson-Kanu emerged off the bench to score what would prove the decisive goal in West Brom’s attritional battle with Burnley.

However with six minutes remaining he caught Matthew Lowton in the face with his arm and was given a straight red. Poor challenge, and if you lead with your arm these days when challenging in the air it only ever means one thing.

Verdict: Correct decision

Arsenal penalty appeal v Stoke City

Arsenal were livid not to be awarded a first-half penalty when Hector Bellerin hit the deck in the area after seemingly being felled by Mame Diouf.

Ref Andre Marriner was perfectly placed but chose to blow for a corner, yet replays confirmed Bellerin got to the ball first and was clearly fouled. It looked a stonewall spot kick to be fair.

A bitter Arsene Wenger said afterwards “We know we don’t get penalties.” This despite the fact they were awarded six in the Premier League last season, more than Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea, amongst others.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Arsenal disallowed goal v Stoke City

How big will this call prove to be for Arsene Wenger, who saw his side slip to their first defeat of the season on match day two?

With just under 20 minutes left, and Arsenal dominating despite being 1-0 down, Alexandre Lacazette powered home after Olivier Giroud’s flick but the flag immediately went up.

Wenger said afterwards the goal should have stood “one hundred per cent”.

We are not sure about that. It was a mighty close run thing, with super slow mo replays showing part of the Frenchman’s foot looked just offside when the ball was played. The right call, just, but Arsenal will feel they were unlucky.

Verdict: Correct decision

Newcastle penalty appeal v Huddersfield

Toon players appealed long and loud for a spot kick after Christian Atsu’s first-half header appeared to strike the hand of Chris Lowe.

Whistler Craig Pawson wasn’t having it though and waved play on, correctly, as replays showed it actually hit Lowe’s back.

Verdict: Correct decision

Eric Dier yellow card v Chelsea

During a real blood and thunder first half Dier went in high and late on David Luiz but was only booked.

Bit of a joke of a tackle to be fair and the England man almost certainly would have seen red but for the leniency of the referee.

Chelsea fans on social media were very quick to point out that Gary Cahill was sent off for something very similar last week.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Team most likely to feel most brassed off award

West Ham

They had a man sent off and conceded a penalty but then battled back from 2-0 down and looked like hanging on for a draw despite their numerical disadvantage, until Lee Mason awarded a very dubious penalty deep into injury-time.

“I don’t want to talk about the penalty decisions, because their is no point talking about it,” a diplomatic Slaven Bilic said afterwards. Privately though the big Croat will have been seething.

Stonewall decision of the week

Arnautovic red card v Southampton

Arnautovic issued a grovelling apology to West Ham fans on Saturday evening on social media despite protesting his innocence on the pitch in the seconds that followed his ugly elbow at St Mary’s.

Lee Mason got a few big calls wrong on Saturday but this certainly wasn’t one of them. A fully deserved dismissal.