Alex Vryzakis rates the performances over the weekend which saw referees on top of their games with the calls…
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Clattenburg unwilling to tolerate Wanyama foolishness
Game: Norwich 1-0 Southampton
Ref: Mark Clattenburg
A referee would be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable game to officiate. Though Clattenburg eventually had to produce a red card, the match was a fairly good-natured affair, with both the Canaries and the Saints playing their own brands of open and attacking football.
The red card came about after Southampton’s attempts to score began to take on a hint of desperation. Victor Wanyama was dismissed after two late and potentially dangerous tackles on either side of half time. The first was a wild lunge on Nathan Redmond, which could well have been more than a red card as the Southampton midfielder led with his studs.
The second offence came in the latter stages of the game, something which can presumably go some way to explaining Wanyama’s moment of madness. Though Norwich’s Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe was in a relatively unthreatening position near the halfway line, Wanyama again lunged into the player studs first. This time Clattenburg had had enough and promptly brandished a second yellow, sending the Kenyan off the field.
Grade: B. Clattenburg dealt with a quiet game with the confidence that we have come to expect.
Atkinson turns his season around
Game: Watford 1-2 Manchester City
Ref: Martin Atkinson
After a disappointing display at Old Trafford last week, Martin Atkinson returned to Premier League fans’ good graces with an astute refereeing performance at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Unsurprisingly the most impressive decisions came from incidents that occurred in the box. Early in the encounter, Troy Deeney found himself outmuscled by Kolarov as he was charging towards the City goal. Deeney argued that the challenge had been too strong, and that he deserved a penalty, but Atkinson was having none of it. Replays showed that he was right to do so, as the challenge was fair and Kolarov had simply been the stronger of the two.
Though it was still early in the game, Atkinson also booked Watford’s Allan Nyom when he took a tumble in City’s box. The Cameroonian’s dive was most flagrant, having tripped
himself up as he brushed past the opposing team’s defender, making the decision almost too easy for the ref.
The game proved to be an opportunity for Atkinson to regain his composure and his confidence following last week’s truly shocking display.
Grade: A. Atkinson came back strongly after his previous blip.
Marriner shines again
Game: Leicester 0-0 Bournemouth
Ref: Andre Marriner
Though Leicester’s important clash with Bournemouth may have been lacking in terms of footballing quality, Marriner’s impressive refereeing performance almost made it a worthwhile watch.
One of the referee’s decisions in particular is to be applauded, seeing Marriner act in a logical and composed manner. Bournemouth’s Simon Francis was forced to tackle Vardy, for fear of seeing the prolific Leicester striker add to his tally. The tackle was both late and from behind, making the penalty and the red card seem inevitable.
After the match, Eddie Howe bemoaned the decision, complaining that Francis had touched the ball during the tackle. Such a complaint seems ridiculous however, as simply touching the ball does not mean that you can take the player out at will. It seems bizarre that such a defence could be put up, since fouls can be very dangerous, and the ball sometimes doesn’t even get taken into consideration.
Marriner’s decisive refereeing once again showed that refereeing standards are not quite as low as previously thought.
Grade: B+. Marriner display was his best of the season so far.
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