Ref Review: Refs Friend and Taylor have weekends to forget

Date published: Monday 6th March 2017 10:41

A look at all the controversial decisions during this weekend’s Premier League games with a number of high-profile incidents 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.


Zlatan’s elbow on Mings; Mings’ stamp on Swede

“You have the TV, you can see the images. I jump up and jump high and Mings jumps into my elbow.” Good one Zlatan, tell us another. In the first instance, Mings definitely appeared to jump and land/stamp on the head of the fiery Swede towards the end of a breathless first half at Old Trafford.

Gary Neville, working for TV but never the most impartial United observer, branded the incident “a cowardly act from Mings, absolutely terrible.” And the more you watch it, the more you realise Mr Neville is right.

However moments later Ibrahimovic clearly elbows said Cherries defender following a corner. It’s blatant.

Ref Kevin Friend has had an absolute nightmare and missed both incidents.

Incidents that could, and should, have resulted in two red cards. However what goes around comes around and there’s a strong chance both will face retrospective FA action and possible bans in the coming days.

It’d be a major shock if the FA don’t throw the book at both players. For want of a better phrase, this kind of action needs stamping out, and the fact it was missed by the official, gives them authority all the permission they need to dish out heavy punishments.

Great line after from Wayne Rooney who said: “To try and stamp on a player’s head is wrong.” Very astute Wayne old son, very astute.

Verdict: Incorrect decision x 2


Andrew Surman red card v Manchester United

Surman, who was on a booking and clearly raging after witnessing the Ibra elbow, then went over and pushed Ibrahimovic to the ground.

It was a bit of a theatrical fall from the hulking Ibrahimovic, who went down as though he’d been hit with a garden spade, but Surman definitely pushes him. A yellow card was brandished, but he was not dismissed for a good two minutes as it took that long for Friend to realise he had already booked the midfielder.

The right call, but still absolutely shambolic from the man in the middle.

Verdict: Correct decision


Manchester United penalty v Bournemouth

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Friend, he incorrectly called Adam Smith for handling a Paul Pogba flick.

To be fair it wasn’t a completely outrageous decision as the ball does make contact with his hand, but Smith was only two yards away when Pogba attempted to scooped the ball over him and one wonders how he was meant to get his hands out of the way?

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Burnley penalty v Swansea

And the award for most bizarre penalty award of the season goes to…. Having watched the incident several times it begs the question, just what is referee Anthony Taylor thinking?

He’s well placed as George Boyd swings in a corner which seems to evade everyone bar Clarets striker Sam Vokes. The ball clearly bounces off Vokes’ arm, yet Taylor then inexplicably points to the spot to award Burnley a penalty. At this level, it really is a shocking call but thankfully bone that ultimately didn’t cost Swansea, who eventually won the game 3-2.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Swansea’s third goal v Burnley

“The decision on the final goal was a foul on Ben Mee, it’s as simple as that.” That was Sean Dyche’s take on Swansea’s late winner at the Liberty Stadium.

Alas Dyche might have been suffering from a short term case of hyperreality during his post-match interview as Fernando Llorente’s header looked perfectly legal. The Spaniard stole a march on Mee in the air to nod another brilliant header home and secure the points for the Swans.

Dyche was incensed, but the goal was definitely a legitimate one.

Verdict: Correct decision

Middlesbrough disallowed goal v Stoke City

Having taken just four points from their last 10 games it’s looking grim for Middlesbrough, who can’t buy a goal at the minute. They did have the ball in the net against Stoke when Ben Gibson forced Grant Leadbitter’s free-kick over the line. Sadly for Gibson and Boro, Bernado Espinoza had strayed offside.

Verdict: Correct decision


Emre Can possible red card v Arsenal

The Reds beat Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield but it might have been a different story if Can had been dismissed with the score at 2-1.

Already on a booking, and with 10 minutes left, the combative German lunged in rather wildly on Theo Walcott, who flipped through the air in dramatic style.

It was a clear foul and on another day, with another official, might have been worthy of a booking. Referee Bobby Madley awarded the free-kick and no more, much to the disgust of the travelling Arsenal fans.

Can, who was walking a tightrope all the way through the second half after putting in several strong challenges, was a lucky boy.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Tottenham penalty appeal v Everton

The Lilywhites thought they had a case for a spot kick early on against the Toffeemen as Leighton Baines stretched in the area and got a bit of Kyle Walker.

Crucially though he also got the ball and ref Michael Oliver, who was brilliantly placed, blew only for a corner.

Verdict: Correct decision


Manchester City offside v Sunderland

The Black Cats were giving Pep Guardiola’s men a real argument in the first half at The Stadium of Light. However moments after Sergio Aguero’s deft finish had put them 1-0 up David Silva thought he had double his team’s advantage after slotting home.

The flag was up though as Raheem Sterling had been flagged offside. Replays suggest the referee’s assistant was on the money.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award


They may have claimed a priceless point at Old Trafford but they won’t be happy about the standard of officiating on Saturday lunchtime. Kevin Friend awarded a harsh penalty against them (subsequently missed) and before that sent off Surman while missing a nasty looking elbow from Ibrahimovic.


Stonewall decision of the week

Middlesbrough disallowed goal v Stoke City

Boro, who have only scored two Premier League goals this year, desperately need to start troubling the old onion bag again and had the ball in the net at the bet365 Stadium. However there were few protests from the travelling Teesside fans when Gibson’s effort was ruled out for offside as the call was obvious.


Agree with our panel? Have your say in the facebook comments section, below.

Related Articles