Ref Review – Best Friend for Tottenham, whilst Manchester United and Liverpool lose out

By OffsideLiam.

It’s that time of the week to have a rant about the latest batch of refereeing howlers or daft decisions, and highlight the odd right call, from the Premier League’s men in the middle . . .

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Two bad calls

Ref: Mike Dean

Mike had his ups and downs in this hotly-contested game between Chelsea and Manchester United on Saturday afternoon. One major mistake that Dean missed was the David De Gea handball that was so clear fans in row Z could have acknowledged it. It wouldn’t have been a red card as Antonio Valencia was there in support, but, the keeper would have been yellow carded and put Chelsea in a good area to score a free-kick.

However, Radamel Falcao was fouled in the lead up to Eden Hazard scoring the winner. If Dean had pulled that up and awarded the Red Devils a free-kick, you never know how the game could have turned out. Then, in the dying moments of the game with United pressing for a late equaliser, Ander Herrera blatantly dives in the box to try and ‘cheat’ his team a penalty. On the replay, you can quite clearly see the central midfielder placing his leg in-between Gary Cahill’s looking for something. Dean cleverly spots this with the help of his touch judge and produces a yellow card for the Spaniard.

Grade: C. Two disappointing mishaps, but it was the right call on the Herrera incident.

Taylor made mistake

Ref: Anthony Taylor

Although Taylor had a rather solid game refereeing at Manchester City, I felt that he was rather quick to bring out the cards in the game – most notably for Cheikhou Kouyaté in his scuffle with David Silva. After looking at many replays, which in fairness the refs don’t have the luxury of, I feel that it is by accident that the West Ham ace’s elbow hits David Silva’s face.

He looks focused on running dominantly with the ball passed the midfield and into the space, and unfortunately, catches the Spaniard in the face with his elbow – but it looks completely accidental. Taylor does the right thing in stopping the play as it’s a head injury and Silva may have been knocked out, but, to award a yellow card to Kouyaté, I felt was harsh.

Grade: B. Not the best decision to card Kouyaté.

Flawless Friend

Ref: Kevin Friend

Friend, like last week, played his part in keeping this game between Newcastle and Tottenham – two teams lacking consistency and form – in an open, free-flowing style of play.

He made the right calls when the cards needed to be brought out and spotted Harry Kane was perfectly onside after scoring a third goal for Spurs. We’ve seen too many incorrect calls this season when a player is onside and is pinged for being off.

Grade: A. Made every call correctly and kept the game ebullient.

Red alert

Ref: Michael Oliver

Made a huge error in judgement when Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli was called for offside when, in fact, he was quite clearly onside, and went on to score against Aston Villa. With that goal being allowed, the Reds would have found themselves going into extra-time and not exiting the FA Cup.

It’s a poor decision, which would have left a sour taste in Liverpool supporters’ mouths. Apart from that, ref Oliver directed the game well and rarely stopped play to award a card or two. Good refereeing.

Grade: B. Failed to recognise that Balotelli was onside.

Follow @OffsideLiam

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1 Comment on Ref Review – Best Friend for Tottenham, whilst Manchester United and Liverpool lose out

  1. It’s a bit harsh to judge referees on offside calls, that’s why Assistant Referees are there. If you do include offside decisions, then Friends A rating seems high considering the Newcastle Goal should have been called offside, and an argument could be made for the second Tottenham Goal (although I think it should stand). I thought the De Gea call was tough in real time, we are talking a matter of centimeters (outside of the box where the handball took place) and from the referees view (very straight) it would have been difficult to be sure. Although it was handball, the fact that the goalkeepers legs were inside the box also made this decision a lot harder. Also, Valencia’s position made it difficult for the Assistant Referee to help out. I agree that the Koyoute yellow card was strange, I think if it was an accident (which I think it was) then no foul, and if it’s deliberate or reckless – straight red.

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