Ref Review with Mark Halsey: Manchester United got lucky against Chelsea

It certainly wasn’t the worst weekend of refereeing but some key decisions in many games sees seven of the weekend’s officials come under scrutiny from‘s Mark Halsey this week. That includes the big one, Bobby Madley officiating Manchester United vs Chelsea at Old Trafford.


Michael Oliver                 (Tottenham vs Bournemouth)

It was a very good decision to award Tottenham a corner because it clearly comes off Harry Arter. Simon Francis has appealed but it’s a really good decision from Michael and nobody can complain.

Once you’ve had one look you can see who it comes off, if Francis or Arter kick it into Row Z then there’s no problem but Tottenham were far, far better than Bournemouth so it didn’t make much of a difference to the end result.

Mike Dean                       (Crystal Palace vs Leicester)

I’ve seen them given where Benteke climbs on the defender and it’s another where if Mike disallows the goal I don’t think there would be many complaints. It’s one of those, sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t but I don’t particularly think it’s a foul.

Some referees will give that and some won’t, at the start of the season Mike Dean was seeing things that weren’t there when it came to offences in the box!

Mark Clattenburg           (Everton vs Burnley)

The player has no chance of winning the ball, he’s come right through the back of the player and it’s a definite penalty and an easy decision for Mark to give in this one.

Andre Marriner               (Sunderland vs West Ham)

I can only go by what I’ve seen, I don’t know if he’s cautioned him in the first place for repeat offences but I think he can manage that better. But, saying that, when you’re on a yellow card you don’t go and make challenges like that in the 95th minute.

Players get desperate but they’re going to miss him now because they’re not safe.

Neil Swarbrick                 (Southampton vs Man City)

I’m not so sure, in my opinion I think Neil could easily have given a penalty against Fraser Forster. It’s a fine touch, a fingernail, but Neil has done the right thing in giving the corner because he felt it was a corner.

But I don’t think anyone would complain if he gives a penalty there, I’m not going to criticise Neil for not giving it and giving a corner instead and he doesn’t get the three or four looks everyone else did. It’s a very, very difficult decision and if you’re in doubt, don’t give it.

Bobby Madley                 (Manchester United vs Chelsea)

The handball is a big call, it’s a massive talking point and as a referee I think it’s easy to give. It’s deliberate handball, his hands are out and he’s made himself bigger. But Bobby doesn’t think it’s deliberate, he’s shut everyone out but Chelsea can feel aggrieved on that one because it’s definitely deliberate handball.

Gary Cahill was perhaps lucky because he could have been sent off because his challenge at the start of the second half warranted a red card. There was poor position and a lack of awareness from the referee and he’s got the two big match decisions wrong. But I applaud the PGMOL for giving him this game because he needs it, I like the way he referees games and these are the games that will make you a better referee. Bobby will hopefully look back and learn from the errors he made, he was spot on to caution Fabregas at the end of the match but his awareness throughout had to be better. Costa and Rojo were at it all game and he didn’t seem aware of what was going on with those two players, we spoke about it with Kevin Friend in the Manchester United vs Bournemouth game and it led to Tyrone Mings stamping on Ibrahimovic.

Anthony Taylor               (Middlesbrough vs Arsenal)

Anthony’s missed a nailed-on penalty for Arsenal, a holding offence at the corner where Ayala brings down Giroud. He’s in completely the wrong position, he’s looking through a bunch of players but it’s gone unpunished because he was in a poor position.


You can follow Mark on Twitter @RefereeHalsey

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