Ref Review: The controversial moments of the weekend’s action

Date published: Monday 27th February 2017 10:22

A look at all the controversial decisions during this weekend’s Premier League games and the entertaining League Cup final at Wembley.

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


Swansea penalty appeal v Chelsea

The Blues eventually ran out worthy 3-1 victors but there was a massively controversial moment midway through the second half when, with the score at 1-1, whistler Neil Swarbrick failed to spot a blatant handball in the area.

Gylfi Sigurdsson clipped the ball over the head of Victor Moses and attempted to do the same to Cesar Azpilicueta when the Spaniard stuck out an arm in the area. Swansea boss Paul Clement said later: “He didn’t quite juggle the ball but it was a definite penalty”.

Swarbrick was having none of it. A big call and, although a tight one, the wrong one on reflection.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Crystal Palace penalty appeal v Sunderland

Baffling decision by ref Robert Madley who booked James McArthur for simulation when he was clearly fouled by a dithering Stewart Downing in the area.

Palace ended up winning but they could have put matters to bed much sooner at Selhurst Park if the ref had been more on the ball.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Watford penalty v West Ham

The game was just minutes old when Craig Pawson blew for a spot kick after Cheikhou Kouyate brought down Mauro Zarate in the area. It was a clumsy challenge for Kouyate and an easy call for Pawson.

Verdict: Correct decision


Michail Antonio red card v Watford

Antonio received his marching orders after a second booking picked up four minutes from time for a deliberate handball. It was a brainless decision by Antonio who had to go given he was already sat precariously on a booking.

Verdict: Correct decision


Hull City penalty v Burnley

Michael Keane ultimately made amends by scoring an equaliser but looked horrified to give away a penalty at the KCOM. Keane tussled with Harry Maguire in the box and his hand clearly made contact with the ball in the box.

Verdict: Correct decision


Bournemouth penalty v West Brom

Mark Clattenburg: Heading to Saudi Arabia

All eyes were on Mark Clattenburg who was officiating his first game since agreeing to become Saudi Arabia’s new head of referees and he was in the thick of it early doors after calling Allan Nyom for a clumsy foul in the box on Ryan Fraser.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis had no complaints saying afterwards: “The penalty, looking at it again, was a penalty, so Mark’s got that right.”

Verdict: Correct decision


West Brom offside v Bournemouth

Clattenburg was on the ball again as he correctly disallowed a Nacer Chadli header early on in the second half. A marginal call but definitely the correct one.

Verdict: Correct decision


Southampton disallowed goal v Manchester United

Absolute game changer of a decision at Wembley as Southampton were denied an early goal after Manolo Gabbiadini’s effort was ruled out for offside. Replays show the Italian was clearly on and Saints legend Matt Le Tissier took to social media to label the call a “disgusting decision”. It was too.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Jack Stephens red card escape v Manchester United

It looked a really naughty challenge by Stephens on Anthony Martial at Wembley and on another day the card could possibly have been red. Stephens went in wildly on the Frenchman, but Andre Marriner felt the offence only merited a yellow.  Replays suggested he got it right. Just.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award


Saints, with no major trophy win since the 1970s, should have gone ahead early against the Red Devils and if they did the whole complexion of the match would have changed.

Gabbadini was furious, as was Mr Le Tissier who moaned “At this level, the assistant has to get the decision right.” Sadly for Southampton, he didn’t.


Stonewall decision of the week

Antonio red card v Watford

It was a pretty witless decision by Antonio to use his hands to control the ball given he had already been booked. He has been one of West Ham’s better players this season too and they will miss him while he is suspended.


Agree with our verdicts? And are there any controversies you’d have liked to have seen included? Add your thoughts in the story comments box, below…

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