Ref Review: The controversial decisions from week 32

Date published: Monday 4th April 2016 7:24

Cheikhou Kouyate: saw red against Palace

Our panel debate several highly-dubious decisions across the Premier League this weekend and discuss more misfortune for West Ham and three controversies in the Leicester v Southampton game.

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.

Dieumerci Mbokani disallowed goal v Newcastle: The Norwich striker looked to have given the Canaries a dream start against Newcastle in their relegation crunch at Carrow Road when he latched onto Jonny Howson’s cross and fired past Karl Darlow. But the DR Congo striker had carelessly strayed into an offside position and the linesman was right to rule him offside. An easy decision for our panel. Verdict: Correct decision

Foul on Mbokani for free-kick ahead of Norwich’s opener v Newcastle: Cheick Tiote was adjudged to have pulled Mbokani sufficiently for the referee to award a free-kick out on the touchline, for which Robbie Brady flighted the ball in for Timm Klose to head home the opener. But replays showed both players had arms all over each other and it was a classic case of six of one, half a dozen of the other. Three of our five-strong panel felt the decision was harsh on Newcastle. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Newcastle penalty v Norwich: Rafa Benitez’s side were handed a reprieve when Gary O’Neil was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area with Ayoze Perez on the attack. The Canaries midfielder protested his innocence, but our panel completely sided with the officials and felt this was the right call. Verdict: Correct decision

Possible Jonny Howson handball in build-up to Norwich’s winner v Newcastle: The former Leeds midfielder did eventually get the assist his game deserved by teeing up Martin Olsson for Norwich’s late winner against Newcastle, but Benitez’s men can feel mightily aggrieved after the ball was handled not once, but twice by Howson in getting it under control. Again it was a close call, but three of our panel felt the referee should have blown up and awarded Newcastle the free-kick. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Possibility of ball going out of play in build-up to Harry Kane goal v Liverpool: Harry Kane drilled home a brilliant equaliser for Tottenham at Anfield on Saturday, but there was a suggestion the ball had gone out of play in the build-up to the strike. However, the officials were dead right in allowing play to continue with Christian Eriksen doing enough to keep the ball in. Verdict: Correct decision

Foul on Bolasie for free-kick ahead of Palace’s opener v West Ham: Angelo Ogbonna was adjudged to have fouled Yannick Bolasie, with the referee awarding the free-kick which led indirectly to Damien Delaney’s opener. But much like Tiote’s challenge on Mbokani at Carrow Road, we felt there was enough in this to warrant a free-kick. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Foul on Payet for free-kick ahead of West Ham’s equaliser v Crystal Palace: Joel Ward was adjudged to have chopped down Dimitri Payet to give the Hammers man the chance to fire home his brilliant free-kick equaliser against the . This, however, was the correct call according to all five of our panel. Verdict: Correct decision

Cheikhou Kouyate red card v Crystal Palace: The Hammers midfielder was shown a red card for a studs-up challenge on Palace striker Dwight Gayle, with both managers agreeing at full-time the game-changing incident was “harsh”. Our panel, however, were split on this one, with two suggesting the player was out of control and was reckless, while three thought he won enough of the ball first and the angle of his boot meant he was never going to cause serious injury. A close one to judge, however, we marginally felt the Hammers were unlucky and a yellow card would have been sufficent. Verdict: Incorrect decision

Dame N’Doye disallowed goal v West Brom: Sunderland striker Dame N’Doye thought he’d netted the winner in the drab encounter against West Brom when he fired home in the latter stages, only to be see his joy cut short by the linesman’s flag. It looked a tight call on first viewing, but replays showed the eagle-eyed officials had called this dead right. Verdict: Correct decision

Chelsea penalty v Aston Villa: Aly Cissokho was penalised for a clumsy challenge on Alexandre Pato in the area, but there was no doubting the validity of this call and our panel sided completely with the referee. Verdict: Correct decision

Alan Hutton red card v Chelsea: The Villa full-back was applauded off by his own fans after being sent for an early shower for collecting two yellow cards. And our panel felt the first caution, for pulling back Pato was right, while the second one, for a studs up challenge on Ruben Loftus-Cheek (a similar challenge to Kouyate’s red for West Ham) was also worthy of yellow too. Verdict: Correct decision

Possible offside in Alberto Paloschi goal v Stoke: Mark Hughes felt Swansea had benefited after the officials failed to rule a Swansea player offside as the Italian striker fired home the visitors’ equaliser at the Britannia Stadium. The Stoke boss, who felt the offending player was “interfering with play” and the goal should, therefore, have not been given. But, unaided by some dubious camera angles, our panel felt there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest the goal should have been chalked off. Verdict: Correct decision

Southampton penalty appeal No 1 v Leicester: Saints boss Ronald Koeman felt massively aggrieved that his side had not only been denied a penalty, but also that Leicester weren’t reduced to 10 men when Sadio Mane rounded Kasper Schmeichel and saw his goalbound shot hit the elbow of Danny Simpson. This was a tough one to call, but our panel felt that, by the letter of the law, the ball struck Simpson’s arm and he did not make an unnatural movement to deliberately block the shot. In the end, we voted 4-1 in favour of the referee being right, while the lack of Southampton appeals, was also fairly telling. Verdict: Correct decision

Jamie Vardy red card escape v Southampton: The England striker was perhaps lucky to escape punishment when he caught Steven Davis with an ugly-looking lunge after he lost possession of the ball. Saints players certainly felt Vardy was reckless with his challenge, but we again sided with the Foxes here and felt the player won the ball cleanly and it was worthy of a yellow card at best. Verdict: Correct decision

Southampton penalty appeal No 2 v Leicester: Robert Huth saw a Charlie Austin cross blasted at him from close range, with the ball deflecting out for a corner after hitting his hand. Once again, and while we have seen these given over the course of the season, there was no deliberate action and once again, the officials were dead right. Verdict: Correct 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
= Crystal Palace Five Five 0
12. Chelsea Nine 10 -1
= Norwich Four Five -1
14. West Brom Six Nine -3
15. Newcastle Five Nine -4
16.Southampton Six Eleven -5
= Arsenal Eight Thirteen -5
= Bournemouth Five Ten -5
19. Swansea Five Eleven -6
20. West Ham Four Thirteen -9


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