Ref Review: The controversial decisions from matchday 12

Date published: Tuesday 22nd November 2016 11:17

Our panel discuss several highly-contested decisions in the Premier League this weekend, with controversial incidents in the Man Utd v Arsenal game and Southampton v Liverpool featuring.


Manchester United penalty appeal v Arsenal

Hands down the biggest call of the weekend and one that divided fans and pundits alike. Antonio Valencia burst into the box in the first half at Old Trafford and went down as a struggling Nacho Monreal reached across him. Nothing doing, according to ref Andre Marriner. The Stretford End booed the ref long and loud at both half-time and full-time while United legend Ryan Giggs claimed: “It was a penalty, just. I shouted penalty at the time and even though I think it’s soft, he’s got the wrong side of him.”

However replays suggest while Monreal was possibly asking for bother putting an arm out in the area after being nutmegged, Valencia had lost his footing and was already on the way down. Marriner was ideally placed to make what was a game-changing call. Tellingly while Jose Mourinho was apoplectic with rage at the time afterwards the Portuguese commented that “I know that it is or isn’t a penalty, I watch a few times but don’t want to say what I think and I want to reaffirm that the referee did his best.”

VerdictCorrect decision


Matteo Darmian possible second yellow card v Arsenal

Another big call and in hindsight Darmian has been a lucky boy. Having already been booked in the game he went in late with studs showing on Carl Jenkinson. The ref blew for a free-kick and a further yellow card looked a racing certainty but Marriner didn’t go to his pocket.

Darmian’s earlier booking for a ‘foul’ on Theo Walcott (where the contact was minimal to say the least) was definitely harsh but it was a crude lunge on Jenkinson that was 100% a booking.

Pundits afterwards who claimed that justice was done due to the fact Darmian stayed on the pitch due to the Walcott booking being harsh were missing the point. Two wrongs don’t make a right Mr Marriner!

Verdict Incorrect decision


Tottenham penalty v West Ham

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A potentially seismic moment in Spurs’ season this. Having equalised to make it 2-2 with just a minute left Tottenham looked to be heading for a fifth Premier League draw in a row. Enter Harvard Nordtveit. Deep into injury-time the Norwegian slid in on Heung-Min Son and in such situations if you don’t take the ball cleanly you are bang in bother.

Nordtveit clearly upended Song and ref Mike Dean didn’t hesitate in pointing to the spot, from where Harry Kane blasted Spurs to victory.

Verdict Correct decision


Bournemouth penalty appeal against Stoke City

Put simply, Roger East has had a mare here. After 11 minutes of this high octane clash Callum Wilson is through on goal before being sent sprawling in the box by a clumsy Ryan Shawcross challenge. It’s an absolute nailed-on penno. So glaringly obvious it is laughable (unless you follow the Cherries). Incredibly East waved play on. Shawcross gets none of the ball and takes Wilson out. Blatant. Absolutely blatant. Indeed, when Stoke City’s official Twitter feed admits it should have been a penalty, it reeks you plenty regarding just how awful this decision was.

Verdict Incorrect decision


Papy red card v Hull City

Djilobodji Sunderland

Sunderland enjoyed a magnificent day in beating relegation rivals Hull City at the Stadium of Light, a day that was only marred by Senegal defender Djilobodji’s red card late on. He can have no complaints about either booking, the second in the dying embers of the game after a clumsy challenge on Jarrod Brown leaving whistle blower Lee Mason with no option.

Verdict Correct decision


Liverpool penalty appeal against Southampton

Mark Clattenburg

Roberto Firmino gets away after a ball is looped into the area at St Mary’s and Virgil Van Dijk appears to tug at his shirt before the Brazilian schemer goes to ground. However ref Mark Clattenburg waves play on leaving Firminho incensed.

There is debate as it whether the offence took place inside or outside the box but Van Dijk should have been penalised. If it was outside its a free-kick and probable red card. Inside and it’s yellow and a spot kick. Either way the big Dutchman has had some love off Clattenburg here.

Verdict Incorrect decision

Swansea penalty v Everton


The influential Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson was a constant thorn in Everton’s side at Goodison and incredibly he’s been involved in over half of Swansea’s league goals this season. He won (and duly dispatched) a penalty after 41 minutes after Phil Jagielka – who may or may not have still been feeling the effects of a heavy night on the tiles with Wayne Rooney last week – bundled him over in the area.

Verdict Correct decision


Danny Drinkwater alleged elbow during Watford v Leicester City game

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After 67 minutes of Watford’s 2-1 Saturday win at Vicarage Road the England midfielder appeared to elbow Valon Behrami. Ref Neil Swarbrick was literally just yards away but appeared to miss the incident altogether.

Just two minutes before this though Swarbrick had cautioned Drinkwater for a foul on Behrami. If the official says he didn’t see the second incident it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Drinkwater – a hero in the Foxes incredible run to the title last season – could face retrospective action and a possible violent conduct charge.

The video evidence suggests such action may be imminent as replays suggest this looks a bit worse than ‘handbags’.

Verdict Incorrect decision


Week 12 awards

Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Has to be Bournemouth. They may have eventually come away from Stoke City with a hugely-valuable three points but if Callum Wilson lives to be 100 he will probably never understand how he wasn’t awarded a penalty at the weekend.

Stonewall decision of the week

Tottenham’s penalty winner against West Ham. Just what was Harvard Nordtveit thinking? No wonder his performance was described as a disaster in our ratings after the game. Games are won and lost on these moments and the Norwegian schemer badly let the Hammers down.

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