Ref Review – Atkinson keeps control of Liverpool & Manchester United whilst chaos ensues at the Etihad


Once again, it’s that time of the week, time to have a rant about the latest batch of poor refereeing decisions and this weekend’s group of games provided plenty of talking points. This week we got another case of mistaken identity at the Etihad, Steven Gerrard made quite an impact at Anfield whilst Lee Mason had a Weston-Suoer-Mare.

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ANOTHER case of mistaken identity

Ref: Neil Swarbrick

As if a ref getting Wes Brown and John O’Shea mixed up wasn’t enough entertainment for 2015, Neil Swarbrick mixing up West Brom’s Craig Dawson and Gareth McAuley added some extra spice, given it was just 90 seconds into the game against Manchester City.

Whilst it can be an easy thing to do in the heat of the moment, Swarbrick at least apologised for his error at half-time, admitting he’d simply sent off the wrong player. From there on in, he refereed the game well.

Grade: D. At least he owned up to his error.

Dean is arrogant, who knew?

Ref: Mike Dean

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson claimed on Saturday that Mike Dean is – wait for it – ‘arrogant’. And water is wet, right? Pearson was unhappy with the awarding of a penalty to Spurs with the game poised at 2-2, when Danny Rose was fouled by David Nugent.

It did look harsh; there was no intentional contact and it was simply a coming together of bodies, a six and one and half a dozen of the other. No penalty for me, but Dean probably doesn’t care.

Grade: D. Could do better, Michael.

Not a great start for Dick

Ref: Lee Mason

Dick Advocaat probably wondered why he’d bothered coming to the Premier League when West Ham’s Diafra Sakho scored a late winner past his Sunderland side on Saturday evening.

Sebastian Larsson was clearly fouled in the build-up, but, to be fair, Advocaat should be thanking his lucky stars the Hammers hadn’t been awarded two or three penalties before it got to that stage. Not a great game for Lee Mason, and not for the first time.

Grade: E. Everything he could have got wrong, he got wrong.

Gone in 48 seconds

Ref: Martin Atkinson

Liverpool v Manchester United is potentially the hardest game in English football to referee. Martin Atkinson’s heart probably sank when he heard the words ‘stamp’ and ‘red’ come from his linesman just 40 seconds into Steven Gerrard’s introduction to his final North West derby.

The linesman could be seen uttering those words immediately after the incident, and between them, they got a rather controversial decision bang on. Atkinson was also correct to award United a late penalty, but missed Martin Skrtel’s late stamp on David de Gea.

On the other hand, he was rather lenient towards Phil Jones, Ander Herrera, and Wayne Rooney, the latter escaping a booking for tripping Simon Mignolet, but overall, he got the big call right.

Grade: B. A tough encounter managed relatively well.

Lady luck shines on Arsenal

Ref: Mike Jones

John Carver complained last week that Newcastle didn’t get soft decisions after his side were denied a penalty against Everton.

Whilst the Magpies had several appeals for a penalty turned down against Arsenal, none of them were stonewall, and you couldn’t blame Mike Jones for not giving them. The free-kick for the visitors’ opening goal was also soft, but those decisions are largely given when outside the box. Jones had calls to make and they just happened to side with the away team.

Grade: C. Had some difficult calls to make.

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1 Comment on Ref Review – Atkinson keeps control of Liverpool & Manchester United whilst chaos ensues at the Etihad

  1. Great read, we have very similar views. If you want to check out one of my blogs on my page. I’m a referee giving my honest opinion on referee performances.

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