Ref Review: Southampton’s win was despite the ref and Alex Neil’s attitude is a revelation, but the governing bodies still aren’t enforcing their own rules

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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Mou’s Madley madness

Chelsea 1-3 Southampton
Ref: Robert Madley

Jose Mourinho was up to his usual deflecting antics after this game, trying to make the referee’s performance the story rather than his side’s hugely disappointing performance in yet another home defeat.

The Chelsea boss’ main criticism was that ref Robert Madley failed to award a penalty for a foul by the keeper on Radamel Falcao. Mou had a point. It probably was a penalty and at the very least shouldn’t have been a yellow card for diving.

But that decision was probably the most forgivable of a number of big errors by Madley.

Branislav Ivanovic almost tore Virgil’s shirt off to stop the Southampton man from getting on the end of a cross, while Ramires clearly fouled Saido Mane inside the box later in the half. The dramatic fall by Mane probably didn’t help his cause, but Madley still got the decision wrong.

Mourinho may have been the one complaining, but it would have been Southampton who’d have felt hard-done-by… had they not won the game at a canter!

Grade: D. Madley got a number of key decisions wrong and would have angered whichever manager was on the losing side.

Zaha makes it easy for Moss

Crystal Palace 2-0 West Brom
Ref: Jonathan Moss

There was only one moment of contention in the game at Selhurst, and referee Jonathan Moss got it spot on.

Wilfried Zaha had Chris Brunt on toast all afternoon and it was the panic of not being able to cope with the winger’s pace that prompted Brunt to lunge in and bring Zaha down on the edge of the box.

It was one of the easiest decisions that Moss will have to make all season and capped a thoroughly straightforward afternoon for the official.

Grade: B. There wasn’t much for Moss to do, but when the big moment came he didn’t fluff his lines.

Crowding the refs has to stop

Bournemouth 1-1 Watford
Ref: Michael Oliver

The Premier League brought in new rules at the start of the season, stating that only two players should approach the referee at any one time.

On not a single occasion has that rule been enforced.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw between Bournemouth and Watford was a prime example. A string of fouls inside the penalty area was enough to give three penalties, let alone one. Yet the incensed Watford players still crowded around Michael Oliver, screaming in the official’s face.

This isn’t an anti-Watford point. The same scene was repeated countless times over the course of the weekend, but this was yet another example of the level of lack of respect for referees that blighting the game.

As it turned out, Oliver was spot on to give the penalty. But the outstanding Heurelho Gomes saved it to ensure the points were shared.

Grade: B. Oliver got the big call right, but his lack of authority made him an easy target for pressure that should never be allowed… but always is.

Neil is a breath of fresh air

Norwich 1-2 Leicester
Ref: Mark Clattenburg

Norwich fans seemed to feel that they got a raw deal from ref Mark Clattenburg on Saturday, particularly when Cameron Jerome wasn’t awarded a penalty after being held in the box.

But in fairness to Clattenburg, there was one obvious penalty decision and he got it right.

Jamie Vardy’s pace terrifies defenders, but Sebastien Bassong was so worry about the striker’s acceleration that he forgot to put the breaks on himself and clattered straight into the England man from behind. It was clumsy and unfortunate, but still a penalty.

Credit should also go to Norwich manager Alex Neil for refusing to criticise Clattenburg.

“I think it is based on each incident, it shouldn’t be a case of Norwich have not had one yet so we should maybe give them one,” Neil said, referring to the fact that his side have yet to have a penalty this season.

“The fact is the way Leicester play with that counter-attacking style, they are expansive and put you in those situations. It was something we had spoken about before the game, the fact they had the highest penalty ratio in the league, we highlighted that but we couldn’t stop it.”

That’s a refreshing attitude. If only more managers spoke in the same way.

Grade: C. Clattenburg could probably have given more big decisions, but the one he did give was completely correct.

Read more from Tom here!

Follow Tom Bennett at @tommbennett

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