By Tom Bennett.
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 . . .Embed from Getty Images
Newcastle throw the towel in
Ref: Mike Dean
He may not have removed the air of arrogance that so riled Nigel Pearson earlier in the season, but Mike Dean can surely only have improved his reputation at Leicester with his display on Saturday.
In truth, Newcastle made most of the decisions easy for Dean. The penalty at the start of the second half was a clear push by Emmanuel Riviere on Leicester’s Marcin Wasilewski, while both Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson deserved to be shown two yellows. Was Williamson’s a deliberate red? It seemed more likely that the defender lost his temper, which would hardly be surprising given the shambles on show at Newcastle since Christmas.
Grade: B. There was plenty for Dean to do but Newcastle made it easy for him.
Double punishment for Southampton
Ref: Mike Jones
Sunderland won’t be complaining, but the decision to send off James Ward-Prowse swung this game heavily in their favour. Whether the midfielder’s clumsy challenge on Jermain Defoe was even worthy of a penalty is doubtful, particularly given that he seemed to lose control with his first touch.
The incident tarred an otherwise strong afternoon by Jones, who got the first penalty call right and did well to allow play to continue for Southampton’s goal when Oscar Pantilimon spilt the ball under pressure from only his own defenders.
Grade: C. Jones was over-eager to reach for his pocket after giving the penalty.
What a Duff decision!
Ref: Jonathan Moss
Sean Dyche was right – the red card did ruin the game and he was also right to say that it was the wrong decision. Michael Duff probably did do just about enough to give away the penalty, but there were plenty of covering defenders back and the red card was extremely harsh.
It wasn’t a great afternoon for the man scheduled to officiate the FA Cup final, but the yellow card that he showed to West Ham’s Stewart Downing for simulation was worth it just for the midfielder’s hilarious reaction. Whether Downing deserved a yellow is a different matter. It’s the age-old debate of whether he was anticipating the foul or diving. Either way, Moss was understandably keen to give Burnley the benefit of the doubt after his early gaffe.
Grade: D. The red for Duff almost certainly sealed Burnley’s fate.
RVP in spot of bother
Ref: Anthony Taylor
A relatively assured performance by Anthony Taylor was undermined by his decision to give a penalty for Saido Berahino’s handball. Not only was the striker at point-blank range, but it was also unclear whether or not he was inside the area. West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill’s terrific save from Robin van Persie’s penalty for United ensured that it didn’t matter in any case.
Other than the handball decision, Taylor had a strong afternoon, and he was absolutely right to book Paddy McNair for the needless foul that led to Baggies’ winning goal.
Grade: C. The contentious penalty didn’t matter in the end.
Chelsea’s little help from Friend
Ref: Kevin Friend
A title-confirming final whistle blast was the most important intervention by Kevin Friend at Stamford Bridge, but the proceeding 95 minutes had given him plenty to do. The ref refreshingly allowed play to continue when Palace keeper Julian Speroni spilled the ball under pressure, which was a rare yet welcome sight.
However, he did miss a handball as John Terry threw himself into one of his trademark last-man-standing blocks inside the Chelsea area. Whether it was enough to give a penalty is doubtful, but there was deemed to be enough when Eden Hazard collapsed between Adrian Mariappa and James McArthur. All of those big calls were debatable – and all went Chelsea’s way – but Friend just about got all of them right.
Grade: B. Hardly an authoritative display, but no major errors to mar the title celebrations.