Ref Review: The controversial decisions from matchday 13

Date published: Monday 28th November 2016 12:40

Our panel discuss several highly-contested decisions in the Premier League this weekend, with Paul Pogba’s yellow card and Bournemouth’s penalty at Arsenal coming under the microscope.

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 most fortunate and which was the easiest decision for a match official to make.

Leicester penalty #1 against Middlesbrough

On first viewing it seemed Callum Chambers could have few complaints after raising his arm in the area following Danny Simpson’s lofted ball into the box. However replays clearly show Chambers handled due to being unceremoniously shoved in the back by Wes Morgan.

None of the officials at the King Power spotted the infringement, much to the chagrin of those who had made the trip from Teesside.

“Morgan recognised that (the foul) to my players at half-time,”  said a clearly frustrated Aitor Karanka afterwards.

It was a crucial moment in the game too with Boro well on top and Leicester fans booing the collective ‘efforts’ of the champions just minutes before.

Verdict Incorrect decision

Leicester penalty #2 against Middlesbrough

Claudio Ranieri: Backs Slimani to sting Porto again

If the first Foxes penalty award was controversial, this clearly was not. In the fourth minute of injury-time Leicester captain Wes Morgan bustled into the Boro box and was scythed down by a graceless challenge from Martin de Roon.

Substitute Islam Slimani kept his head when all around him were losing theirs to give Leicester a share of the spoils their play barely warranted.

Verdict Correct decision

Burnley penalty appeal against Manchester City

The Clarets had already beaten Liverpool and Everton at Turf Moor this season and gave Manchester City a decent argument on Saturday.

Ref Andre Marriner –  who hit the headlines over some big calls during Manchester United’s clash with Arsenal last weekend – was under the spotlight again after waving away frantic Burnley penalty appeals when Jeff Hendrick was seemingly floored by Nicolas Otamendi.

The Argentine clearly went into the back of the Burnley player, leaving Sean Dyche to seethe: “I’m still scratching my head how it’s not a penalty. It’s a foul anywhere on the pitch.”

Verdict Incorrect decision

Sergio Aguero possible second yellow card v Burnley


In bagging a brace against Burnley, Aguero has now scored against 29 of the 30 Premier League teams he has played against.

However there is a school of thought that he was lucky not to be sent off at Turf Moor following his scrappy double that took the Citizens (temporarily at least) back to the top of the table. After 70 minutes and with the visitors 2-1 up he was booked for kicking the ball away after being caught offside.

Aguero then began an ironic hand clap in the direction of Marriner, who if he was feeling more ruthless could have easily issued a second yellow. Happily common sense prevailed.

Verdict: Correct decision

Bournemouth penalty v Arsenal

Last weekend young Callum Wilson was denied an absolute stick-on of a penalty after crashing down in the area at Stoke but on Sunday at the Emirates fortune at last greeted him with the purest of grins.

Wilson got goal-side of Nacho Monreal but despite the Gunners defender barely making contact at all ref Mike Jones had no hesitation in pointing at the spot.

Wilson dusted himself off to convert and make it 1-1 as Arsene Wenger barely kept his emotions in check on the sidelines.

Verdict: Incorrect decision

Bournemouth penalty appeal v Arsenal

Arsenal players and fans had been on referee Jones’ case after that first half penalty award to the Cherries and one wonders if their displeasure had anything to do with the man in the middle turning down what looked an infinitely stronger appeal in the second half as Monreal appeared to handle in the area when a Simon Francis pass stuck him on the arm?

Boss Eddie Howe was philosophical afterwards when he said: “We are disappointed. We came here to win and leave with our heads held high.”

One out of two ain’t bad Eddie.

Verdict Incorrect decision

Paul Pogba yellow card v West Ham

Paul Pogba: Tangles with Mark Noble.

Another week, another touchline controversy involving Jose Mourinho. On Sunday the wily Portuguese was furious after referee Jon Moss showed Pogba a yellow card for simulation. He took a wild swing at a water bottle and minutes later was banished to the stands.

Afterwards assistant boss Rui Faria tried to defend the gaffer when he said: “I think there was frustration from Jose after the yellow card from Pogba. It should be a foul for us but the referee understood it in another way.”

However replays showed that Mark Noble did not in fact make contact with the France international.

Verdict Correct decision


Week 13 awards

Team most likely to feel brassed off award


Manchester City dominated possession at Turf Moor and few would argue they didn’t deserve the three points but it would have been ever so interesting if Mr Marriner had called Otamendi for that shove on Hendrick early on.


Stonewall decision of the week

Leicester’s second spot kick award against Middlesbrough

They just don’t come much more blatant than De Roon’s uncouth challenge on Morgan. In the dying embers of a pulsating match Boro needed their midfielder to show Dutch courage in his own area but a rush of blood to the head has cost his team two valuable points.

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