Ref Review: Pochettino rightly fuming with referee Mike Dean

Mauricio Pochettino was left fuming with referee Mike Dean after Saturday’s defeat at Burnley, while Fulham are the weekend’s hard luck story, all in Ref Review.

Refereeing decisions are regularly the source of debate among fans, pundits, players and managers so this season TEAMtalk’s ‘Ref Review’ panel will be passing judgement on every red card (or avoidance of one), every penalty  (or avoidance of one) and any other major incident in each Premier League match.

We may be in the day and age of goalline technology, while VAR made its appearance at the World Cup, but football remains littered with controversies.

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.


Javier Hernandez goal v Fulham

We know that Chicharito has scored 50 goals in the Premier League (for West Ham and Manchester United combined). We are however unsure what the Mexican is for ‘blatant handball’. This was frankly outlandish. Fulham ‘keeper Sergio Rico punched a corner straight up in the air and a game of pinball ensued. Michail Antonio bumped it back in, Angelo Ogbonna then nodded it back across goal and Hernandez popped it in with his mitt from about a yard out. His reaction – looking straight away to ref Lee Mason – was telling. It’s so difficult to argue against VAR when goals like that are being allowed to stand.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Tottenham penalty appeal v Burnley

A poor first half at Turf Moor, significant only because of one of the most dubious penalty appeals you will witness this season. Danny Rose hang your head in shame lad! The Spurs player attempted a cross into the Burnley penalty area – it struck Phil Bardsley somewhere close to his arm and Rose wanted a penalty. Not a chance. Not in this life, nor the next.

Verdict: Correct decision


Burnley first goal v Tottenham

Incredible scenes at the end as Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had a full meltdown on the pitch and got right in the face of referee Mike Dean. It was all to do with Burnley’s first goal, which Poch felt should not have stood.

Chris Wood got away from Juan Foyth to head a corner past Hugo Lloris into the net but Pochettino was unhappy the corner from which the goal came was awarded in the first place. Replays confirmed the Argentine’s rage was justified. It should have been a goal-kick.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Wolves penalty appeal v Bournemouth

Jota was booked for protesting too much after Roger East decided that Chris Mepham had not handled the ball in the box just now. However, on reflection, that should have been a penalty to the visitors instead of the corner they were eventually given. And the booking just added insult to injury for the visitors.

Verdict: Incorrect decision


Tommy Smith red card v Newcastle United

Tommy Smith TEAMtalk

Huddersfield were always up against it on Tyneside having lost 13 of their last 14 matches going in. But Tommy Smith made a tough job virtually impossible after being sent off for serious foul play early on. The Terriers lost their captain after one-footed, reckless stamp (with studs showing) on Miguel Almiron. Really nasty challenge. Mr Smith what were you thinking?

Verdict: Correct decision


Crystal Palace penalty v Leicester City

The Eagles have been awarded no less than eight penalties this season and Luka Milivojevic converted the latest one at the King Power after Jonny Evans clumsily clunked into Michy Batshuayi.

Verdict: Correct decision


Manchester City disallowed goal v Chelsea

It was a drab final save for the crazy drama right at the end. However in normal time City had the ball in the back of the net at Wembley as Sergio Aguero slotted home but it was ruled out for offside. We went to VAR to double check and boy was it close! Happily for Chelsea fans the linesman’s original decision was upheld.

Verdict: Correct decision

Kepa Arrizabalaga attempted substitution

Just when we thought we had seen it all, the world’s most expensive goalie defies his manager’s orders and refuses to be subbed! Arrizabalaga had just been treated for cramp and, with the game at 0-0, Maurizio Sarri was preparing to bring on reserve ‘keeper Willy Caballero ahead of a penalty shootout. But the Chelsea No. 1 refused to budge, wagging his finger at the bench as he stood his ground and risked the wrath of his boss.

Referee Jonathan Moss ran over to confirm whether Arrizabalaga was going off or not but the whistler had no authority to force the substitution to happen. It’s entirely down to the player and if one refuses to leave the action then the game ultimately must continue. So Mr Moss did the right thing. Arrizabalaga? Not so much.

Verdict: Correct decision

Team most likely to feel brassed off award

Javier Hernandez TEAMtalk


West Ham were trailing to an early Ryan Babel goal when they got back into it courtesy of Hernandez. He clearly got the final touch with his hand but the officials failed to spot it. So unlucky for Fulham who had been playing well to that point.


Stonewall decision of the Week

Smith red card

Horrendous challenge from Smith, who left Kevin Friend with no alternative but to dismiss him. Almiron, who was very lively on his full debut for the Toon, could have been badly injured. Smith made contact with studs showing just above Almiron’s ankle. Nasty.