Alex Vryzakis runs the rule over the refeering standard in the Premier League after a mixed bag of a weekend.
Moss does his best at the King Power
Game: Leicester 2-2 West Ham
Ref: Jonathan Moss
No one would envy the referees called to officiate the upcoming title-deciders, as the scrutiny surely increased. After Kevin Friend was unceremoniously removed from the Tottenham fixture on Monday for living in Leicester, Jon Moss must’ve been feeling the heat.
And yet, in a game of many incidents, Moss got the major calls right.
The first was Jamie Vardy’s controversial dismissal late in the first half. After seeing yellow for a soft but obvious foul on Cheikhou Kouyate, Vardy was treading a fine line. Then, in his typically tenacious manner, he eventually came together with Angelo Ogbonna in West Ham’s penalty area. The striker looked to Moss for a penalty but was aghast to see he was being sent off instead. Replays showed the Leicester man had unnaturally moved towards the defender in order to essentially initiate a collision, culminating in an exaggerated dive. Moss was well within his rights to send Vardy off.
The next incident came during a West Ham corner late in the game. After the players were warned for shoving in the box—something that Moss didn’t have to do—Wes Morgan gave away a penalty for bringing down Winston Reid. Replays again proved the decision to be fair, despite the incensed Leicester players’ pleas.
While previous incidents seemingly favoured West Ham, the last infuriated Slaven Bilic’s side. As Jeffrey Schlupp made a driving run into the box, Andy Carroll impetuously barged into him, knocking him to the ground and prompting Moss to once again indicate a penalty. Carroll vocalised his distaste for the decision after the game, but Moss was right to call it, as the foul was nothing if not obvious.
However, Moss did make mistakes, as it’s hard to see how Ogbonna remained uncarded after clattering Shinji Okazaki and impeding both Vardy and Robert Huth in the box. Yet Huth was no saint himself, putting himself about in both penalty areas.
Moss dealt with what was thrown at him as best he could, and giving a red card and penalty against Leicester couldn’t have been easy. Credit to the ref on a difficult day.
Grade: B. Certainly not perfect, but handled the controversial incidents well, refusing to be kowtowed.
Norwich fail to cover themselves in glory
Game: Norwich 0-3 Sunderland
Ref: Andre Marriner
As Norwich’s hopes of staying up are disappearing by the day, their comprehensive beating at the hands of Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland can only seen as a competent display on Andre Marriner’s part. Few incidents blew up and it ended up being a game of two penalties – one given and one not.
Firstly, as Fabio Borini threatened in front of goal, Norwich’s Andre Wisdom made a bizarre attempt at a tackle. Bypassing the ball entirely, replays showed that Wisdom forcefully stamped on the Italian’s foot. Marriner swiftly pointed to the spot, despite complaints on Norwich’s part. It was an obvious penalty and a good spot from the referee.
Later on, Dieumerci Mbokani tried his luck in the box. As Younès Kaboul and Mbokani struggled in Sunderland’s area, the Congolese striker threw himself to the ground, writhing in the hopes of a sympathy penalty. The striker was playing for it but Marriner had none of it.
Though it seems an obvious statement, referees often deal with play-acting, and in this instance Marriner proved his mettle.
Grade: B+. Marriner did what little was required, quietly and discreetly.
Dean stumbles at Stamford Bridge
Game: Chelsea 0-3 Manchester City
Ref: Mike Dean
It looked so promising for Mike Dean. Chelsea’s clash with Man City couldn’t have been smoother, and yet of course, controversy arose. In the end, Dean made two big calls, and while one of them was undeniably spot on, the other was disastrously misjudged.
Early on, Pablo Zabaleta tackled Cesc Fabregas with excessive force. Dean quickly produced the deserved yellow and play continued. Yet later, it happened again. Zabaleta smashed into Pedro on the wing, knocking the Chelsea man to the ground. It was clearly a second bookable offence and crowd and commentators alike awaited the dismissal. But Dean simply wagged his finger and waved play on. It’s a big miss from such an experienced referee.
Near the end came Dean’s saving grace. As Fernandinho charged into Man City’s box, Thibaut Courtois rushed out in the hopes of stealing the ball. Unfortunately for the keeper, all he caught was the player, and he received his marching orders.
Grade: C. Both incidents deserved cards and it was astonishing that Dean failed to recognise that.
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