Ref Review: The incorrect decisions from week 31

Date published: Monday 21st March 2016 7:28

Michail Antonio: Challenge was outside the box

Our panel debate several highly dubious decisions across the Premier League this weekend and also discuss red card escapes for Aly Cissokho and Chris Smalling.

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.

Alexis Sanchez penalty appeal v Everton: The Chilean forward took a tumble in the Everton box during the first half at Goodison after contact from Muhamed Besic. Although the player appeared to fall almost belatedly, replays showed Alexis had been caught and Everton had got away with one. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Olivier Giroud disallowed goal v Everton: Arsenal almost capped an impressive display at Goodison with a third goal late on when French striker Giroud nodded into the net from a left-wing corner. However, Everton were given a foul after Phil Jagielka took a tumble in the box, and while there appeared nothing in it at first instance, replays showed the defender had tripped on Alex Iwobi’s stationary leg. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Yohan Cabaye penalty appeal v Leicester: The French midfielder lashed a volley goalwards during the second half against the league leaders, with the effort appearing to catch Robert Huth on the shoulder and sparking strong Palace appeals. But replays showed the volley actually struck the big German on the arm and the ref was 100% correct. Verdict: Correct decision

Robert Huth penalty appeal v Crystal Palace: It was an eventful afternoon for the Foxes centre-half and he could arguably count himself unfortunate not to win a spot-kick of his own at the other end after Scott Dann had such a tight hold of his shirt, that he actually lifted it over his head and off his back. However, the incident was not serious enough to warrant a spot-kick and the shirt being pulled off his head was nothing more than a quirk of fate, according to four of our five-strong panel. Verdict: Correct decision

Gary Cahill penalty appeal v West Ham: The England defender saw penalty appeals waved away after he’d flicked the ball back into the area and it was blocked clumsily by what appeared to be Enner Valencia’s arm. The ball, however, had caught more of the player’s shoulders and our panel felt the ref, just about, made the right call. Verdict: Correct decision

Chelsea penalty v West Ham: West Ham were denied a first win at Stamford Bridge in 14 years when referee Robert Madley pointed to the spot after adjudging Michail Antonio to have brought Ruben Loftus-Cheek down in the area. But there were strong doubts the challenge was made in the box, and our panel unanimously agreed it should has been a free-kick only. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Marko Arnautovic disallowed goal v Watford: Stoke’s fruitful afternoon at Vicarage Road could’ve been even better had the Austrian forward not been flagged offside when converting a cross from Phil Bardsley. However, replays showed the officials were 100% right to flag him offside and not allow the goal to stand. Verdict: Correct decision

Aly Cissokho red card escape v Swansea: Booked correctly for a first-half foul on Modou Barrow, the full-back must have been fearing the worst when he tripped the same player again. However, despite awarding a free-kick, referee Mike Dean chose instead to let the player off with a final warning, though the only plausible explanation we have is that he must’ve felt sorry for the club and their plight. Either way, maximum punishment was inflicted when Swansea scored the winning goal off the resulting free-kick. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Shane Long penalty appeal v Liverpool: The Saints forward took tumble in the box under the weight of a challenge from Dejan Lovren and although no spot-kick was given, the Croatian was seen to have leaned on the Irishman. However, four of our five-strong panel agreed with the referee on this one as contact wasn’t enough to warrant a penalty. Verdict: Correct decision

Joe Allen disallowed goal v Southampton: The ‘Welsh Pirlo’ was denied a rare goal after he drilled the ball home from a half-cleared corner. But with Mamadou Sakho in an offside position when the ball was fired goalwards, and given he was obscuring Fraser Forster’s view (together with the suggestion he tried to play the ball) the officials were 100% right to deny him a goal. Verdict: Correct decision

Southampton penalty v Liverpool: Martin Skrtel couldn’t believe his eyes when the ref pointed to the spot after he was adjudged to have pulled back on Graziano Pelle in the area. The Slovakian argued he was only given as good as he got, but replays showed the tug was entirely one way and the referee got a difficult call (just about) right, though it was certainly a soft one for Liverpool to concede. Verdict: Correct decision

Offside appeal in Saido Mane winner v Liverpool: Saints sealed a dramatic come-from-behind victory when Mane latched on to a Pelle pass to fire past Simon Mignolet. Liverpool claimed the substitute was offside when he picked up the pass, but replays showed he was played on by Sakho. Verdict: Correct decision

Dele Alli disallowed goal v Bournemouth: Tottenham enjoyed a comfortable afternoon against Bournemouth at White Hart Lane but could have had more to show for their efforts when the England midfielder touched home a cross from Eric Dier. The ‘goal’ however was disallowed with Harry Kane adjudged offside, which in itself was marginal, and ultimately was not interfering with play. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Marcus Rashford penalty appeal v Manchester City: The Manchester United forward clearly enjoyed his afternoon against Martin Demichelis and was unfortunate not to win a penalty to add to his winning goal. The United man was felled in the box under a challenge from the Argentinian and, while Michael Oliver was adamant it was not a penalty, our panel felt the referee got this one wrong with the striker impeded and prevented from getting a shot on goal. Contact might have only been minimal, but it was contact all the same, and the City defender can consider himself fortunate. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Chris Smalling red card escape v Manchester City: The Manchester United defender was cautioned early in the game for a shirt tug on Sergio Aguero and must have been fearing the worst when a bit of magic from the striker saw Smalling bring him down for a second time. While Oliver opted to give Smalling the benefit of the doubt, our panel felt that had that been any other player, the yellow would have been shown and the decision to show leniency was, by the letter of the law, wrong. Amazingly, that was only the second major decision to go against Manchester United this season, as our table, below, shows. Verdict: Incorrect decision


For and Against

Team For Against Total For/Against
1. Man Utd Nine Two +7
= Leicester Fourteen Seven +7
3. Liverpool Eleven Six +5
= Aston Villa Seven Two +5
5.Tottenham Eight Four +4
= Man City Ten Six +4
7. Sunderland Seven Four +3
8. Everton Four Three +1
9. Stoke Six Six 0
= Watford Five Five 0
11. Chelsea Nine Ten -1
12. Newcastle Five Seven -2
= Crystal Palace Three Five -2
14. West Brom Six Nine -3
= Norwich Two Five -3
16.Southampton Six Eleven -5
= Arsenal Eight Thirteen -5
= Bournemouth Five Ten -5
19. Swansea Five Eleven -6
20. West Ham Four Eleven -7

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