Ref Review: The controversial decisions from week 36

Date published: Tuesday 3rd May 2016 11:51

Eric Dier: One of nine Tottenham players booked at Chelsea

Our panel discuss several highly-contested decisions in the Premier League this weekend, with a plethora of tricky calls in matches between Manchester United v Leicester and Chelsea v Tottenham.

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 keep a tally of the major decisions to go for and against each team in an attempt to settle the never-ending debate about whether certain clubs are favoured more than others by Premier League referees.

Decision to award Newcastle free-kick for Townsend winner v Crystal Palace: The Scouse centre-half was penalised for a foul on Andros Townsend allowing the winger to fire home his brilliant free-kick winner. Our panel had no doubt, however, that the ref was right and the Palace defender had clearly body-checked his opponent. Verdict: Correct decision

Crystal Palace penalty v Newcastle: Awarded after Moussa Sissoko bizarrely raised an arm to cut out a Yohan Cabaye corner into the box, our panel had no doubt Mike Dean was right to point to the spot – and actually applaud the ref for spotting the Frenchman had got his fingertips to the ball. Verdict: Correct decision

Sunderland penalty appeal v Stoke: Geoff Cameron, in an incident not too dissimilar to Sissoko, raised an hand to cut out a cross into the box. Although the ref must’ve deemed him not to have made contact with the ball (the flight of the ball was not altered), replays showed Craig Porter got this one wrong. Would this have been awarded had Sunderland been more vocal in their appeals, however? Verdict: Incorrect decision

Possible foul in build-up to Stoke goal v Sunderland: Sunderland felt Peter Crouch had fouled Younes Kaboul in providing the assist for Marko Arnautovic’s goal, and our panel – with a majority of 4-1 – felt the ref should have given a foul in the visitors’ favour. We also said you’d want your centre-half to be a stronger in these situations, but that’s beside the point. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Sunderland penalty v Stoke: Awarded after Cameron was adjudged to have felled Defoe in the area, our panel sided with the ref on this one, saying that although Defoe made the most of it, Cameron had lunged in unnecessarily and forced the ref to make the call. Verdict: Correct decision

Watford penalty appeal v Aston Villa: Odion Igahlo made half-hearted appeals for a spot-kick when he felt he was pulled back in the area following a cross into the box. This, however, would have been harsh in the extreme and we felt the ref got this right. Verdict: Correct decision

Almen Abdi: Celebrates his goal with Mario Suarez

Decision to award Watford free-kick for Abdi equaliser v Aston Villa: The ref awarded the Hornets a free-kick after Aly Cissokho was correctly booked for a careless lunge on Almen Abdi, allowing the Swiss the chance to bend in an excellent free-kick equaliser. Easy one for the ref to award the free-kick and book the Frenchman.  Verdict: Correct decision

Aly Cissokho red card v Aston Villa: The Villa defender completed a miserable afternoon when he brought down Ikechi Anya as he bore down on goal. Although the full-back won the ball in the first instance, his trailing leg felled his opponent leaving Anthony Taylor with no other choice.  Verdict: Correct decision

Possible foul in build-up to Bournemouth goal v Everton: The Toffees felt aggrieved after the linesman failed to alert the referee to a foul on debutant Matthew Pennington by Callum Wilson right under the officials’ nose. As play continued, Marc Pugh found the net – but Everton were quite rightly angry at the linesman’s performance.  Verdict: Incorrect decision

Foul on Jeff Schlupp for Leicester goal v Manchester United: The referee awarded a free-kick when Michael Carrick carelessly fouled the Leicester winger and allow Danny Drinkwater the chance to float in a free-kick for Wes Morgan’s equaliser. Our panel, however, agreed with Michael Oliver in this instance…  Verdict: Correct decision

Marouane Fellaini and Robert Huth red card escapes: The duo tangled at Old Trafford with the German defender pulling Fellaini’s hair, just as the Belgian elbowed his opponent in the face. Although this one went under the referee’s radar and we can’t punish Oliver for deciding on an incident he didn’t see, we feel both should have seen red here – despite Louis van Gaal’s sex masochism defence of his player! Verdict: Incorrect decision

Possible Danny Simpson red card v Manchester United: United felt they should have had a penalty when Danny Simpson’s clumsy pass was intercepted by Jesse Lingard and, as the United man bore down on goal, was brushed off the ball by the former Red Devils full-back. However, there wasn’t contact here to warrant a dismissal, with both players having small nibbles at one another. Verdict: Correct decision

Leicester penalty appeal v Manchester United: Marcos Rojo was fortunate not to concede a penalty when he brought down Riyad Mahrez in the area. Although we can see why the referee decided this wasn’t a penalty with it appearing nothing more than an unavoidable clash, replays showed the Argentinian had flicked out a boot at the Player of the Year and got away with one. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Danny Drinkwater: Saw red on return to Manchester United

Danny Drinkwater red card v Manchester United: The former United man saw red for collecting two bookable offences and our panel felt he could have little argument with both cautions. The first, after a needless tuck on Marcus Rashford’s shirt, and the second after similar with Memphis Depay, were both yellows the referee simply had to award. Verdict: Correct decision

Manchester United penalty appeal v Leicester: In the same incident as the one that saw Drinkwater collect his second booking of the match, Michael Oliver also faced another tough call in deciding whether the offence had taken in or out of the box. Replays showed the player’s toe was just on the line, so a penalty should, technically, have been given, though we can see exactly why he overlooked it as there’s no way he could’ve been certain. However…..Verdict: Incorrect decision

Possible Wayne Rooney red card v Leicester: The Manchester United skipper was booked for a drag/pull on Mahrez together with his angry reaction, but could have been sent off after an earlier ugly lunge on Leonardo Ulloa and then later, for pulling Demarai Gray back as the Leicester sub attempted to join an attack just outside the area. And our panel certainly felt Rooney was fortunate not to avoid an early shower. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Possible foul in build-up to Southampton’s fourth goal v Manchester City: City felt play should have been pulled back when Virgil van Dijk won possession off Kelechi Iheanacho in the build-up to Sadio Mane’s hat-trick goal on Sunday. However, replays showed the Dutchman had made a brilliant tackle and won the ball cleanly. Verdict: Correct decision

Brad Smith red card v Swansea: The stand-in Liverpool defender picked up the first red card of his professional career for two bookable offences, but we feel the Aussie can have no complaints at either decision. His first booking, for a shirt pull on Wayne Routledge, was certainly needless, while the second, for a careless high challenge on Kyle Naughton were both worthy of cautions. Verdict: Correct decision

Possible foul in build-up to Liverpool goal v Swansea: The Swans felt Gylfi Sigurdsson had been pulled back by Christian Benteke as Liverpool pulled a goal back at the Liberty Stadium, but our panel felt the Belgian had done nothing untoward and the goal was right to stand. Verdict: Correct decision

Swansea penalty appeal v Liverpool: Swansea were unlucky not to win a spot-kick when the referee missed a handball in the penalty box by Daniel Sturridge. And our panel certainly felt Roger East dropped a clanger here as the Swans were denied the chance to add a cherry on top of the Eton Mess they made of Liverpool’s defence. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Danny Rose possible red card v Chelsea: The Spurs full-back, having already been at the centre of some tasty tackles, took Willian out with a meaty challenge right on the stroke of half-time. Mark Clattenburg, having already showed leniency earlier in the match, opted to only book the Spurs defender. However, our panel felt the referee was OK at this period in the game, to only flash a yellow. Verdict: Correct decision (to only give a yellow)

Eric Lamela possible red card v Chelsea: The Argentine stood on a grounded Cesc Fabregas and managed to avoid any recriminations from the officials, before then wiping out the same player later in the game with a rash sliding tackle. Our panel felt, on another day, Lamela could have seen red and may yet find himself in hot water with the referee. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Mousa Dembele possible red card v Chelsea: The Belgian midfielder was at the centre of the mass melee as the players left the field at half-time, with the player seen to grab Diego Costa’s face. Although the offence took place right under the linesman’s nose, our panel again couldn’t understand why the Tottenham man escaped without punishment. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Eric Dier possible red card v Chelsea: The Spurs midfielder made, what our panel judged, to have been three meaty challenges that were all worthy of yellow cards at least. The player was booked for one on Eden Hazard, which on another day could have been red, while the last of the three – for a desperate lunge on Fabregas – was even more worthy of a red. Verdict: Incorrect decision (for failing on at least two occasions to show red card)


Seasonal for and against

Team For Against Total For/Against
1. Man Utd Thirteen Four +9
2. Liverpool Fifteen Seven +8
3. Man City Thirteen Six +7
= Tottenham Twelve Five +7
5. Leicester Nineteen Thirteen +6
6. Aston Villa Seven Two +5
7. Crystal Palace Seven Five +2
= Sunderland Nine Seven +2
= Stoke Nine Seven +2
10. Everton Four Five -1
= Watford Six Seven -1
12. Norwich Four Seven -3
= West Brom Seven Ten -3
14. Arsenal Ten Fourteen -4
= Southampton Seven Eleven -4
= Newcastle Six Ten -4
17. Chelsea Nine Fifteen -6
= Bournemouth Six Twelve -6
19. Swansea Five Twelve -7
20. West Ham Seven Eighteen -11


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