REF REVIEW: Manchester City vs Chelsea wasn’t controlled, United got a bit lucky and so did Tottenham Hotspur‘s Mark Halsey is back once more to look over another controversial weekend of refereeing decisions. From the heated Manchester City vs Chelsea encounter to Everton’s late penalty on Sunday evening, almost every referee comes under the microscope this week…


Anthony Taylor (Manchester City vs Chelsea)

Anthony didn’t really control the game, there were too many smaller decisions that went unpunished that eventually led to the big decisions he had to make the later in the game.

Too many advantages were played where there wasn’t necessarily an advantage for either team, the game started to get away from him and when you stop getting the correct calls, players take the law into their own hands and that’s what happened on Saturday.

His awareness of Aguero’s foul wasn’t what it should be at the top level, he’s absolutely got it right to send both him and Fernandinho off but look at the incident earlier in the game between Luiz and Aguero. How can you not give that? You know there’s history between those two players, it has to be a free-kick and a caution but it wouldn’t have been a red card.

But going back to the end of the game, Taylor has to get in there straight away and get the red card out, control the situation. I don’t think he was actually going to take any further action and I think Mike Dean has come in and given him some advice.

He’s misread the game, he hasn’t bossed the game as he should have done. He’s been too relaxed and you could just tell there was going to be a red card because the referee didn’t control it.


Michael Oliver (Everton vs Manchester United)

In the 10th minute, Gareth Barry commits a foul on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and as a referee you’re always going to get an opportunity to stamp your authority on a game. Your body language says a lot and you’re given a chance to get in there straight away and show you’re going to boss the game.

But Michael didn’t, then players think he’s given them license to do the same so what happens then? Rojo goes in on Gueye and should be shown a straight red card, it’s an awful challenge. But that’s because Michael didn’t stamp his authority on the game when he had the opportunity, if he books Barry then most likely Rojo’s challenge never happens.

The booking Barry actually got was very, very soft but there you go. For the penalty, I was sat there wondering why Fellaini was coming on so late in the game because he was going to do something silly – and he did! I don’t think there can be any arguments with the penalty. I actually thought Michael did ok after the first 15 minutes, he put his mistakes to one side and got on with it.


Andre Marriner (Sunderland vs Leicester City)

He’s gone off the boil a bit hasn’t he? Sometimes when you’ve done a couple of big, televised games in a row and you know Andre’s a top referee you have to ask what’s going on?

You become physically and mentally tired refereeing week in, week out in the big games so the management have to give them a rest sometimes. When I used to referee we had some top referees but everyone makes mistakes when you get to a point where you’re mentally tired and this week he’s missed a clear penalty for Sunderland at an important point in the match.

The fact he’s refereeing in Greece on Thursday night means he’ll probably get a rest this weekend which will be good for him.


Bobby Madley (Bournemouth vs Liverpool)

I actually think Bobby’s had a good game here, I think the first one is one of those where you could agree if he gives it and you could agree if he doesn’t give it. I wouldn’t criticise Bobby for not giving that and he’s definitely got Liverpool’s penalty right – that’s spot on.

But funnily enough I think Bobby’s brother is actually a better referee and is due to a promotion to the select group, when you look at the likes of Roger East, Lee Mason and Jon Moss, these guys need to be moved aside now for referees like Kevin Friend, Stuart Attwell, Paul Tierney and the like.

Let’s try these referees in the big, big games because we’ll never know if they can do it otherwise. 88% of the big games go to the same four referees.


Jon Moss (Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United)

What on earth is Jon doing? He’s in the wrong position, he’s got to be further forward to spot Dele Alli’s dive and he’s taking several seconds to give that penalty. That means there has to be doubt, if you’re sure you give the penalty straight away so if there’s doubt you can’t give that decision.

Just don’t do anything if you’re not sure, just play on. Neil Swarbrick had a similar incident on Saturday, he just played on and did nothing and this decision put Swansea on the back foot too because it was 0-0 at the time. It’s a really poor decision.


Graham Scott (West Brom vs Watford)

I did say last week we’d probably talk about Graham Scott and he’s got the Pereyra sending off spot on. But why he hasn’t sent James McClean off too I’ll never know, it’s a blatant act of violent conduct so he should have gone too.

It was interesting to see Tony Pulis go to Mike Jones to have a chat as well, if Pereyra goes then McClean has to go too.


Craig Pawson (West Ham vs Arsenal)

The official has to see that the final Arsenal goal is offside. It’s 4-1 and he’s just gone to sleep basically, he’s lost his concentration so when everybody’s talking about it being goal of the month – it’s offside.


You can follow Mark on Twitter @RefereeHalsey


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