Ref Review: The debatable decisions from FA Cup 3rd rd weekend

Date published: Monday 9th January 2017 11:54

Our panel discuss Divock Origi’s disallowed goal for Liverpool, John Terry’s red card and a number of other controversies in the FA Cup third round.

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.


Manchester City penalty v West Ham

In the end Pep Guardiola’s men put on a footballing clinic as they dissected West Ham and ran out easy winners at the London Stadium.

However their opening goal was plenty contentious. Pablo Zabaleta went over in the area but seemed to fall over Angelo Ogbonna’s standing leg. It was a little clumsy from Ogbonna but cynics would suggest Zabaleta was always looking for a foul. On reflection the penalty looked uber harsh as Ogbonna doesn’t actually commit and make a challenge.

Sofiane Feghouli’s miss to immediately right this wrong just seconds later however is also surely an early candidate for the 2017 Barn d’Or!

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Joey Barton yellow card v Sunderland

The controversial midfielder/author/social media philosopher was making a second debut for Burnley on a chillingly cold day on Wearside. He could not inspire the Clarets to victory over the Black Cats on Wearside but he could get his name taken late on for a cynical challenge on Adnan Januzaj. And he can have few complaints.

Verdict: Correct decision


Sunderland penalty appeal v Burnley

Jermain Defoe: In demand

A replay in East Lancashire is probably the last thing either boss would have wanted given the depth of their respective squads and it was almost averted as Jermain Defoe showed the Clarets defence a clean pair of heels before being bundled over literally centimetres inside the box.

Referee Stuart Atwell had a long hard look, before awarding Burnley a free-kick. Defoe looked astonished, but truth be told his appeal never looked that convincing.

Verdict: Correct decision

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Norwich City penalty v Southampton

When teenage Saints goalkeeper Harry Lewis eventually winds down his career it’s debatable whether his senior debut will linger long on the old highlights reel DVD.

That’s because he conceded a sloppy penalty at Carrow Road when taking a heavy touch from a straightforward back pass from Virgil van Dijk and allowing Cameron Jerome to nip in. Lewis then clattered into Jerome in the area and referee Chris Kavanagh had little choice but to point to the spot.

Verdict: Correct decision


Liverpool disallowed goal v Plymouth

The Reds, fielding their youngster starting XI in their illustrious history, dominated possession against the Pilgrims but could not find a way through despite huffing and puffing at Anfield.

They thought they had when Divock Origi slammed home from eight yards out after 21 minutes. However he was all over Gary Miller like a rash and was rightly called for using his arms to get above the defender.

Verdict: Correct decision


READ MORE: Klopp should get credit for bold Liverpool selection


John Terry red card v Peterborough

The Blues were 3-0 up and cruising at Stamford Bridge when Lee Angol went through for the Posh with just John Terry  for company.

The former England defender, showing all of his 36 years, waded in with a challenge that was more Dog & Duck than FA Cup.

The Chelsea skipper was making his 50th FA Cup appearance but there was no room for sentiment from the referee. Terry was the last man and he simply had to go.


Verdict: Correct decision


Ryan Sessegnon goal v Cardiff City

To anyone over the age of 30 it seems crazy to think that a boy born in the year 2000 would be casually scoring the winner in an FA Cup third round tie. That’s exactly what happened on Sunday though as 16-year-old prodigy Sessegnon tapped home for the Cottagers.

I think it was Mark Twain who said ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story’ and referee Andy Woolmer and his assistants must have had this in mind after failing to spot that the youngster was marginally offside before he brushed the winner home.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


READ MORE: Sessegnon gives FA Cup a fairytale twist


Daniel Ayala red card v Sheffield Wednesday

Middlesbrough’s fans had only just stopped celebrating their opening goal against the Owls when Ayala was shown a controversial straight red card for bringing down Fernando Forestieri.

The Spaniard was making his first start since a 0-0 draw with Arsenal on October 22 and can count himself very unlucky. He definitely checked Forestieri and brought him down rather unceremoniously but he was at least 25 yards from goal and not even the last man so it’s difficult to see how whistler David Coote arrived at such a decision.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Cardiff City

Boss Neil Warnock claimed afterwards that he “struggled to get out of bed” for this FA Cup tie and with comments like that it’s debatable whether he will be losing any sleep over their 2-1 home defeat to Fulham.

The bottom line is though Fulham’s winner looked marginally offside so the home fans in a low crowd of 5,199 will perhaps have a right to feel aggrieved that their FA Cup dreams are over for another season.

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Stonewall decision of the week

John Terry red card

Antonio Conte: John Terry red card 'undeserved'

The former England defender pleaded for clemency to ref Kevin Friend before seeing red but the decision was fairly straightforward.

It was Terry’s first game for over two months and while his manager has hinted at a possible appeal, the veteran defender offered few complaints as he left the field with Chelsea already out of sight against Peterborough.

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