By Tom Bennett.
For the final time this season, 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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Laid-back Moss lets the game flow
Ref: Jonathan Moss
There was an end-of-season atmosphere at Goodison Park, and Jonathan Moss played his part in allowing the game to flow. The ref played a great advantage when Seamus Coleman was felled on the edge of the area, and even though the Toffees were unable to take advantage, it was the perfect example of Moss’ laid-back approach.
Moss’ big decision came late in the game, when Kevin Mirallas collapsed to the ground in the vague vicinity of Benjamin Stambouli’s outstretched leg. It wasn’t a penalty, but could have been a booking for the Belgian.
Grade: B. This was how a game should be refereed, although Moss’ leniency perhaps saved Mirallas a booking for diving.
Hull of their own making
Ref: Lee Probert
Hull had a horror afternoon as they slumped out of the top flight, but thankfully it wasn’t the performances of the officials that sent them down. The Tigers had two goals chalked off for offside, but both were correct decisions by the assistants, and Lee Probert also got it right when he waved away Dame N’Doye’s penalty appeals.
Marouane Fellaini had to go for his shocking over-the-ball challenge, and Probert did very well to spot the extent of the foul from his angle, but on review, the official will be disappointed that he missed Abel Hernandez’s punch on Phil Jones. That could and should have been a red for the Hull man.
Grade: B. It’s a bit harsh to criticise Probert for missing the punch by Hernandez, and other than that, his performance was excellent.
Big let-off for Williamson
Ref: Martin Atkinson
There was plenty at stake for Newcastle, and Martin Atkinson made their job much easier with a shocker of a decision early on. Mike Williamson quite clearly should have given away a first-half penalty, but Atkinson waved play on, and the afternoon just got better and better from there for the Magpies.
Jonas Gutierrez’s goal was the highlight of the afternoon, but after his initial shocker, Atkinson did well to allow the game to play out without too much interference from the officials.
Grade: D. Missing a blatant penalty in a relegation decider is unforgivable. Thankfully, it didn’t ultimately play much of a part in proceedings.
Taylor takes a back seat at the Britannia
Ref: Anthony Taylor
Anthony Taylor didn’t have a great deal to do at Stoke, except watch the ball fly past Simon Mignolet time after time in a sensational first half.
It was a silky performance from the Potters, but Taylor should take some of the credit for allowing the game to have a decent pace without getting too whistle-happy.
Grade: B. It was the easiest of afternoons for Taylor, who got to watch Stoke spectacularly ruin Steven Gerrard’s last day from close quarters.
Carnival atmosphere in West London
Ref: Lee Mason
The champions signed off their season in style at the Bridge, as did referee Lee Mason. There was only one big decision to make, and Mason got it spot-on. Juan Cuadrado was just too good for John O’Shea, with the foul occurring fractionally inside the area. On both counts, Mason got the decision correct.
Extra marks go to Mason for applauding off Didier Drogba in his final Chelsea appearance. That was a classy touch from the ref, who clearly bought into the end-of-season atmosphere.
Grade: A. Applauding off Drogba was worth an A-grade on its own, but the penalty decision was another tick in Mason’s box.
Read more from Tom here.