Ref Review: Arsenal, West Ham and Southampton robbed of clear penalties by poor officiating

It wasn’t the best weekend for referees up and down the country. Alex Vryzakis reports on some dodgy decisions across the Premier League.

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Clattenburg disappoints at Goodison once again

Game: Everton 0-2 Arsenal

Ref: Mark Clattenburg

As with all referees, Mark Clattenburg is a man with a past. Though holding previous performances against refs seems a harsh thing to do, it is an unavoidable element of our nature. In Clattenburg’s case, Everton found themselves on the wrong end of some very dodgy decisions during a spiky Merseyside Derby some years ago. On Saturday, however, Everton saw Arsenal lose out to some bizarre calls instead.

Perhaps the most obvious was an incident involving Alexis Sánchez and Muhamed Bešić. Though the Chilean may have been willing to have fun playing spectator following a trip over the advertising boards, he will have felt hard done by after being felled by Bešić, with Ramiro Funes Mori getting in on the act. It was a stonewall penalty, and a baffling miss from Clattenburg.

Perhaps a less clear cut erroneous call was Olivier Giroud’s would-be goal, which was ruled out for an apparent push on Phil Jagielka. Replays showed there was nothing of the sort, and that the Everton defender had gone over incredibly softly. The Frenchman was livid, and, for once, was well-within his rights.

Clattenburg make have been trying to make amends to the Goodison faithful, but such attempts were misguided. A truly disappointing performance.

Grade: C-. Disallowing Giroud’s goal was bad, denying Sánchez a penalty was criminal.

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Hiddink hoodwinks Bilić in close encounter

Game: Chelsea 2-2 West Ham

Ref: Robert Madley

Following on from Mark Clattenburg’s shoddy refereeing, we have Robert Madley. A relative unknown in the Premier League, the clash he officiated between Chelsea and West Ham was a London derby with much riding on it. Madley needed to produce something special to keep these sides in check, but unfortunately for the Wakefield native, it was not to be.

The moment of the match arrived in the unlikely lumbering shape of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Chelsea’s great young hope. As the forward sprinted goalwards, the Hammers knew they had to do anything they could to stop him. In the end, it fell to Michail Antonio, who may or may have not have clipped him as he ran.

Replays were useless in helping to ascertain whether or not Antonio had actually done so, or whether Loftus-Cheek could have stayed on his feet. These issues, however, were moot points, considering that the foul, real or not, happened outside the box. Imagine the shock then, when Madley assuredly pointed to the spot. Hammers manager Slaven Bilić will no doubt feel like a cursed man following his gripes against Man United last week.

What it boils down to, however, is this: there was no foul in the box, and Chelsea should never have been awarded a penalty, no matter what Guus Hiddink tries to say.

Grade: C. Madley really let West Ham down with that penalty call.

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Southampton win despite East error

Game: Southampton 3-2 Liverpool

Ref: Roger East

Southampton’s clash with Liverpool may not have been quite what either club had been anticipating following disappointing and bumpy seasons for both. Roger East may have felt that it would be an easy game to officiate, seeing as the clubs’ chances have been waning. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Almost as soon as the game had started, Shane Long charged at the Liverpool box. The nimble Irishman was bearing down on Mignolet’s goal in alarming fashion, forcing Dejan Lovren to throw himself at the situation any way he could. The Croatian ended up shoving Long in the back, causing him to lose his balance and hit the turf with a dull thud. It was a clear penalty, and the crowd was awaiting the inevitable decision with bated breath.

Amazingly, East waved away the appeals, neither moved nor interested. It was a bizarre decision, and East will be glad that Southampton didn’t suffer for it.

Grade: C. Startling error from a seemingly confused ref.

Do you agree with Alex about this weekend’s refereeing? Was it clearcut penalties all round?

Read more from Alex here!

Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexVryzakis


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