By Rich Laverty.
Once again it’s that time of the week, time to have a rant about the latest batch of poor refereeing decisions and the midweek group of games provided plenty of talking points. This week may have been an all-time low for referees, particularly if your first name is Anthony or Bobby. Poyet was left fuming, whilst Chelsea and Saints saw things swing their way.
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Once, twice, three times a penalty
Ref: Bobby Madley
Ok, not three times, but the title doesn’t work either. Leicester City had three penalty appeals turned down at the Etihad and while two of them were nailed-on, Bobby Madley disagreed. The first saw Wilfried Bony bring down Jeffrey Schlupp, which was the first decision the ref got wrong. To his credit, he got the second spot-on as Joe Hart got a vital touch to take the ball away from Andrej Kramaric.
But the Croatian had a genuine appeal in the second half when he was brought down inside the box. Every man and his dog could see Kramaric was felled in the box, but Madley gave the Foxes a free-kick only. A bad night for the officials in Manchester.
Grade: E. Bit of a shocker.
Small mercies for Chris at St James’
Ref: Anthony Taylor
Whilst the blue side of Manchester were getting lucky close to home, the red side had their own slice of good fortune in Newcastle. United defender Chris Smalling brought Emmanuel Riviere down inside the area early on and the majority expected Anthony Taylor to point to the spot.
His linesman let him down in the second half when Wayne Rooney had a goal wrongly disallowed after some good work by Angel Di Maria.
Grade: D. Not as bad as Bobby, but bad enough.
Bruce v Poyet, round one
Ref: Mike Dean
Gus Poyet loves a battle and he got one in the form of former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce on Tuesday night. Tensions had been building throughout the game, with Wes Brown late on Hull’s Ahmed Elmohamady, before it hit boiling point when Mike Dean (correctly) booked Jack Rodwell for ‘simulation’. Poyet and Bruce squared up before the ref sent the Uruguayan to the stands.
Whilst Dean could have justified sending Liam Bridcutt off shortly after, the man in the middle handled the situation very well.
Grade: B. Did well in a tricky situation.
A Hazard for Big Sam
Ref: Andre Marriner
As mentioned in the weekend’s Ref Review, Big Sam seems to have had a chip on his shoulder ever since claiming he was the most “sophisticated” boss in the league shortly after the 1-1 draw with Man United.
On Wednesday, he turned his attentions to Eden Hazard’s goal. Allardyce claimed the Belgian was offside when he headed home the winner, but, quite frankly, not even a robot would have been able to react to him bursting in through the middle whilst the Hammers defence moved out, bar Aaron Cresswell. No blame for the officials and the striker gets the advantage.
Grade: A. Good game for the officials at Upton Park.
Pardew unhappy with Jose (not that one…)
Ref: Martin Atkinson
Given Southampton’s recent struggles trying to find the net and Palace’s victory at St Mary’s in the FA Cup, Alan Pardew would have fancied his chances with his side drawing 0-0 at half-time. Whilst Fraser Forster denied his team, and the post and some last-ditch defending denied Wilfried Zaha, the Palace boss was disappointed not to get a penalty.
Citing Jose Fonte for his challenge on Yannick Bolasie, the former Saints boss seemed to suggest Martin Atkinson had been reluctant given the pressure he had come under after the Chelsea v Burnley game. It’s a decision you’ve seen given, but it was far from stonewall.
Grade: C. Somewhere in the middle – might have given it on another day.
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