Tom Bennett looks at the performances of the Premier League referees this weekend, as Craig Pawson goes in Wayne Rooney’s bad books and Mark Clattenburg correctly shows John Terry the red card.
Terry’s pace lets him down, not for the first time
Chelsea v West Brom
Ref: Mark Clattenburg
Jose Mourinho was furious, John Terry was incredulous and even Tony Pulis seemed slightly disappointed that the former England captain was sent for an early bath.
But did Mark Clattenburg get it wrong? Not for me.
Pace has never been John Terry’s greatest strength, but his 34-year-old legs aren’t capable of getting him out of trouble at all these days, and that was extremely evident when he was caught as the last man in a foot race with Salomon Rondon. There was only going to be one winner in that contest, and everybody in the ground knew it. Terry’s foul wasn’t a terrible one, or even particularly obvious, but he did just enough to stop the West Brom summer signing from getting in on goal, and Clattenburg was perceptive enough to see that and dish out the appropriate punishment.
The ref also got the other big call right – correctly pointing to the spot after Nemanja Matic’s clumsy foul inside the area.
Grade: A. Clattenburg and Chelsea don’t mix well, but the official can hold his head high on this occasion.
Moss enjoyed a very busy afternoon
West Ham v Bournemouth
Ref: Jonathan Moss
This was the game of the weekend and had more than its fair share of big decisions for Jonathan Moss to make.
He got the first one right, spotting Winston Reid’s clear push before the defender powered a header past Artur Boruc. So far, so good for Moss. But his decision to award a penalty after Mark Noble collapsed inside the Bournemouth penalty was questionable at best. In fairness to Moss, on first viewing it did look like a penalty. But further inspection showed there was very limited contact with Noble, and probably more with the ball. So hats off to Noble for making it look so stonewall… if you like that sort of thing.
Moss was back on form again with his final key decision of the game, but this time Carl Jenkinson basically made the decision for him – pulling back Max Gradel so obviously that the ref had no choice but to point to the spot and brandish a red.
Grade: B. The only decision that Moss will be disappointed with can be blamed on a convincing Mark Noble dive rather than a huge error by the official.
Officials combine to get the right result . . . eventually
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa
Ref: Keith Stroud
Alan Pardew would no doubt have been ranting and raving about his side’s disallowed goal had they not gone on to win the game, but as it was he glossed over the decision… which is just as well, because the officials got it right.
James McArthur was in an offside position when he deflected the ball in off his chest – albeit only by a hair’s breadth – but between them Stroud and his assistant came to the right decision in the end. Quite how it took such a long time will no doubt have been queried by the ref’s bosses when he headed back to HQ this week.
Grade: B. Stroud trusted his assistant and was rewarded with getting a big decision right.
His assistant lets Pawson down
Manchester United v Newcastle
Ref: Craig Pawson
Craig Pawson was another referee who relied on his assistant for a key offside decision this weekend, but unlike Stroud, he didn’t get the correct decision shouted through to his earpiece.
Wayne Rooney was onside – just – when he burst through early on and slotted home for what would have been his first goal of the season. Rooney will be cursing his luck, as he looks like he could really do with a goal.
Pawson had nobody else to blame when he failed to give a foul against Jack Colback on Juan Mata in the second half – turning down the Spaniard’s indignant penalty appeals. In truth, the ref got it partially right in that it wasn’t a penalty (considering that the foul actually occurred a way outside the box and was over before Mata entered the area), but Pawson should have awarded a free-kick in what would have been a very dangerous position.
Grade: D. Pawson and his assistants combined to get the key decisions wrong throughout.
Williams gets away with it
Sunderland v Swansea
Ref: Neil Swarbrick
There was one big moment for referee Neil Swarbrick in this fascinating encounter between Sunderland and Swansea . . . but unfortunately he seemed to miss it all together.
Ashley Williams clearly blocked a shot with his raised hands inside the Swansea area and – even though it wasn’t a particularly deliberate act – it should have been a penalty for the Black Cats.
The only other big question after the game was: how on earth did Swansea not win that?
Grade: D. Swarbrick let the game flow nicely, but didn’t seem to see Williams’ handball.
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