Ref Review: The controversial decisions from week 38

Date published: Monday 16th May 2016 12:01 - James Marshment

Our panel discuss several highly-contested decisions in the Premier League this weekend, with dubious penalties for Chelsea and Southampton among those under the spotlight.

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.

Manchester City goal v Swansea: Controversy reigned at the Liberty Stadium when Kelechi Iheanacho thought he’d given City an early lead only to have his celebrations cut short by a linesman’s flag. However, the goal was then allowed to stand when referee Mike Dean overruled his colleague and our panel agreed the Nigerian was clearly onside. Verdict: Correct decision

Disallowed Swansea goal v Manchester City: Swansea felt they’d snatched a quick reply when Jefferson Montero beat Joe Hart with a low header from close range. Our panel, however, completed disagreed with Dean’s decision to award Man City a free-kick for an apparent push on Bacary Sagna and felt the goal should have stood. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Aleksandar Mitrovic red card v Tottenham: The Newcastle striker was shown a straight red after an ugly studs-up challenge on Kyle Walker. No arguments here from our panel, who all felt the Serbian’s challenge was disgusting. Verdict: Correct decision

Newcastle penalty v Tottenham: Newcastle won a spot-kick when Moussa Sissoko took a tumble in the area when running between Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen. The French midfielder, however, took a huge dive and completely conned the referee, who our panel had some sympathy for with the Dane’s attempted kick probably looking like it had made contact from when the ref was positioned. However… Verdict: Incorrect decision

Arsenal opener v Aston Villa: Although Olivier Giroud header for Arsenal’s opener came several phases of play after the controversial incident, play should have been pulled back when the ball went out of play just as Mesut Ozil crossed into the box. Villa then spurned several chances thereafter to clear their lines, but all the same, had the goalkick been given when it should, Giroud’s goal would not have happened. Verdict: Incorrect decision (to not give a goalkick)

Southampton opener v Crystal Palace: Our panel had no arguments here to allow Sadio Mane’s goal to stand, despite an apparent foul on Palace’s keeper. However, the infringement on Julian Speroni had come from Damien Delaney, his own defender. Verdict: Correct decision

Southampton’s second v Crystal Palace: Palace felt Adrian Mariappa had been pushed as Graziano Pelle headed home Saints’ second. One of our panel felt the goal should have been awarded – but four went against the referee. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Southampton penalty v Crystal Palace: Saints were given a spot-kick when Mane went down under a challenge from Mariappa, and while our panel felt it was a foul, we deemed the infringement to have taken place marginally outside the box. Verdict: Incorrect decision (to award a penalty)

Chelsea penalty appeal v Leicester: Craig Pawson waved away penalty claims after Christian Fuchs stuck out an arm to block Willian’s ball into the box. The left-back, however, had moved his arm into an unnatural position so can count himself lucky not to conceded the penalty. Verdict: Incorrect decision (to not award a penalty)

Disallowed Chelsea goal v Leicester: Pedro had his celebrations cut short when he was flagged offside after turning in Willian’s cross-shot across goal. A good from the officials here, with the Spaniard half a yard off. Verdict: Correct decision

Chelsea penalty v Leicester: Nemanja Matic won a spot-kick for Chelsea when it was ruled he was felled by Jeff Schlupp. But our panel felt the Serbian had made the most of the incident and gone to ground all too willingly. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Disallowed Sunderland goal No 1 v Watford: Duncan Watmore was denied by a linesman’s flag after sticking the ball away but our panel felt the young Black Cats forward was unfortunate and he’d timed his run to perfection. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Watford’s first goal v Sunderland: John O’Shea felt he’d been eased away from the ball by Sebastian Prodl when he headed home Watford’s equaliser, but we felt that contact was minimal and the officials were right to let the goal stand. Verdict: Correct decision

Disallowed Sunderland goal No 2 v Watford: Dame N’Doye was denied a goal when his diving header from a Seb Larsson free-kick was adjudged offside, but replays showed the Senegalese striker was level when the ball was whipped in. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Watford penalty v Sunderland: O’Shea was penalised when his wild challenge caught Jose Manuel Jurado. Despite the protests, we felt the veteran defender could have few complaints after missing the ball and catching his opponent with both boot and forearm. Verdict: Correct decision

Norwich penalty appeal v Everton: Norwich felt they should have had a penalty when a Steven Naismith’s shot deflected off Leighton Baines and struck Tom Davies on the arm. But with the ball hitting the young defender at point-blank range, our panel felt a penalty kick would have been harsh in the extreme. Verdict: Correct decision (to not award a penalty)

Everton penalty v Norwich: Lee Mason pointed to the spot when Romelu Lukaku went down after his arm was pulled by Robbie Brady. Although the Belgian made the most of it, our panel gave the benefit to the referee – but only by a majority of 3-2. Verdict: Correct decision

Seasonal for and against

Team For Against Total For/Against
1. Man Utd Thirteen Four +9
2. Liverpool Fifteen Seven +8
= Man City Fourteen Six +8
4. Tottenham Twelve Six +6
= Leicester Twenty Fourteen +6
6. Aston Villa Seven Three +4
7. Stoke Nine Seven +2
8. Watford Eight Seven +1
9. Crystal Palace Seven Seven 0
=Sunderland Nine Nine 0
11. Everton Four Five -1
12. West Brom Eight Ten -2
= Southampton Nine Eleven -2
14. Arsenal Eleven Fourteen -3
= Norwich Four Seven -3
= Newcastle Seven Ten -3
17. Chelsea Ten Sixteen -6
18. Bournemouth Six Thirteen -7
19. Swansea Five Thirteen -8
20. West Ham Seven Eighteen -11

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