Ref Review: Spurs denied stonewall penalty; officials hurt Chelsea

This week’s Ref Review gives our verdict on Tottenham’s penalty appeal v Manchester United and assesses controversial goals for Newcastle and Wolves.


Refereeing decisions are regularly the source of debate among fans, pundits, players and managers so this season TEAMtalk’s ‘Ref Review’ panel will be passing judgement on every red card (or avoidance of one), every penalty  (or avoidance of one) and any other major incident in each Premier League match.

We may be in the day and age of goalline technology, while VAR made its appearance at the World Cup, but football remains littered with controversies.

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.


Wolves goal v Manchester City

No doubting the biggest talking point of the weekend, and it’s pretty shocking that the officials have not spotted the Willy Boly handball that gave Wolves the lead at Molineux. It may not have been intentional but he clearly scores the goal with his hand. There was mass debate after the incident regarding the use of VAR in the Premier League and the letter of the law when it comes to deliberate handball. Putting aside whether this was ‘intentional’ or not though there is also a strong argument that Boly was offside too as Matt Doherty clearly gets a touch on before the Wolves man bundled in with his hand. So all things considered the goal should not have stood.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Richarlison red card v Bournemouth

A real moment of madness from Everton’s £40million man. OK it wasn’t the most devastating headbutt in the world but it was still a headbutt and he gave the referee little choice but to send him off. Incidentally the dismissal was Everton’s 91st in the Premier League era, more than any other side in the competition.

Verdict: Correct decision


Adam Smith red card v Everton

In the end Bournemouth and Everton shared four goals and two red cards in an spicy encounter on the south coast. Adam Smith followed Richarlison down the tunnel for an early bath after a professional foul on Theo Walcott, pulling back Walcott as he headed towards goal.

Verdict: Correct decision


Bournemouth penalty v Everton

A brief lack of concentration on the part of Leighton Baines, as he clumsily upended Callum Wilson in the area, gave Bournemouth a lifeline. The Cherries were trailing 2-0 at the time and Everton looked comfortable but can have few complaints about the penalty award.

Verdict: Correct decision


Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg red card v Leicester City

Pierre Emile Hojbjerg TEAMtalk

The Saints man was dismissed after picking up a second yellow for simulation and to be fair it was a clear dive and a solid call from the officials.

Verdict: Correct decision


Jonathan Hogg red card v Cardiff City

There were several unsavoury incidents at the weekend and Hogg’s red card was right up there. He clashed with Harry Arter, who himself was perhaps fortunate not to be dismissed for his reaction (he was booked) but after Michael Oliver consulted with one of his assistant referees he gave Hogg a straight red. He can have no complaints either after appearing to aim a headbutt at the Cardiff man after pulling him to his feet after they clashed in the box after a corner.

Verdict: Correct decision


Etienne Capoue yellow card v Crystal Palace

Etienne Capoue TEAMtalk

Capoue picked up an early booking after a late tackle from behind on Wilfried Zaha on the halfway line and if we are honest this could and should have been a red. A two-footed rake of the studs down the back of Zaha’s ankles could have done the Palace man some real damage. In the aftermath Graeme Souness was scathing of Anthony Taylor’s decision to only book the Watford man, saying of the whistler “He’s either completely bottled it, or he doesn’t understand football.”

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Chelsea penalty v Newcastle United

Hugely controversial penalty award on Tyneside when, with the score at 0-0, Marcos Alonso went down in the area after a tackle by Fabian Schar. Referee Paul Tierney pointed to the spot straight away even though it looked like the Toon man played the ball first. It was certainly last gasp and although Schar does play he ball, he doesn’t play it cleanly as he also impeded Alonso, ultimately bringing him down. With this in mind we have no issue with the award.

Verdict: Correct decision


Joselu goal v Chelsea

Joselu TEAMtalk

It’s a fabulous header by Joselu but we are not sure how the assistant referee does not flag for a foul by DeAndre Yedlin on Olivier Giroud? He must be only five feet away and it’s one of the more blatant elbows you will see this season.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Tottenham penalty appeal v Manchester United

Lucas Moura has taken some time to get going at Tottenham, but the player has become a real asset now for Mauricio Pochettino. And he displayed his new-found confidence with a great run into the box at Old Trafford that bedazzled United’s defence and saw Phil Jones chop him down – right under the ref’s noses.

We’re still unsure how Craig Pawson didn’t award Tottenham a penalty and Gary Neville was equally bemused when assessing it at half-time. “That’s quite a significant leg of Phil Jones’,” the pundit admitted.

At least justice was served in the end…


Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Crystal Palace

The Eagles were unlucky not to take something from their display at Vicarage Road, and on another day might have claimed all three points if Capoue had been rightfully sent off in the first five minutes. Roy Hodgson was not overly critical of Anthony Taylor’s handling of the incident, but the truth is it was a horror tackle that looked nasty and malicious.


Stonewall decision of the week

Richarlison TEAMtalk

Richarlison red card

It was brainless stuff from the Brazilian and may ultimately have cost his team two precious points. His own boss Marco Silva was even critical of his summer signing’s violent conduct during their dramatic 2-2 draw, and left the youngster in no doubt post-match that he needs to curb his temper.

“Firstly, to be clear, it’s something that Richarlison and the other players in our squad, they cannot do,” said Silva. “It’s something I don’t like to see and in this level – if you are 18, 19, 20, if you are 33 – you have to keep always your emotional balance there.”