VAR got all three Liverpool decisions correct, whilst Tottenham should have been made to restart Manchester United game in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

With FA Cup and Premier League action to look through, there’s plenty to get through and more big decisions to analyse. We once again call’s Mark Halsey to talk us through what the referees got right and wrong…


Chris Kavanagh (Wigan Athletic vs West Ham United)

Nobody can have any complaints with Chris choosing to send off Arthur Masuaku because the player deserved all he got.

My concern with the penalty is that Chris is a little bit inexperienced and he got a little bit complacent. He was too far away from the decision and he allowed the assistant to come in and give the decision. It was a poor decision by the assistant but Craig should have been closer to the incident so he could be telling the assistant it’s not a deliberate act.

But he was too detached from play, he was at walking pace at the time and that’s a learning curve for Chris moving forward.


Craig Pawson (Liverpool vs West Brom)

What you’ve got to say is in this match and on these three occasions that VAR worked. It’s in its experimental stage at the moment and there are going to be some teething problems, but I believe they got all three decisions correct.

It’s the amount of time it took to come to the decision is the problem, watching the replay of the penalty straight away you could see there was a pull in there, so I don’t understand why it took so long for Craig and VAR to come to that conclusion. There needs to be an experienced TV analyst in there with them to get these angles through quickly.

The other problem is then you have West Brom players all around the referee after every VAR decision and that has to stop. The only player there should be the captain so the referee can make it clear to him what decision has been given and why.


Lee Mason (Cardiff City vs Manchester City)

There was a nasty challenge from Joe Bennett and as a referee Lee should have known it would come at some point in that game, sometimes you just know it’s coming.

Lee’s recognition of that incident wasn’t what it should be at that level and like Chris he was too detached from play to get a really good look at the challenge from Bennett.

The offside goal shouldn’t have been disallowed, it looked level for me. The assistant’s flag has gone up but you have to ask was Sane interfering? The best person to ask is Lee, he has a good view of it, three goalkeepers wouldn’t have saved that shot. Lee Mason should have overruled his assistant on that one.


Kevin Friend (Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool)

I didn’t think it was a penalty for Huddersfield and I think Kevin got that right and I think he got the Liverpool penalty right too.

It’s good to see Kevin’s perhaps got a little bit of confidence, he’s a confidence referee and he’s been lacking a little bit of that recently.


Chris Kavanagh (Everton vs Leicester City)

Wayne Rooney has clearly held the Leicester player back and you have to ask why Wayne has put himself in that position.

You’re asking the referee to make a decision, Chris has made it and I don’t think you can have any complaints.


Simon Hooper (Newcastle United vs Burnley)

Simon’s got the penalty decision right, he’s clipped the man but I think Burnley should have had a penalty too when Jack Cork got brought down.

Sean Dyche was complaining after the game and he had every right to be, so Simon has got one right and one wrong.


Mike Dean (Southampton vs Brighton)

Mike has also got this one right, he’s clearly caught his man for the penalty, there’s no complaints from the players and Mike’s another one who’s got his penalty decision right.


Bobby Madley (Manchester City vs West Brom)

Bobby’s suffering from a severe lack of confidence at the moment, it’s a clear sending off for Matt Phillips and I just don’t know why he hasn’t sent him off.

The Silva challenge wasn’t as bad, that was a caution for a reckless challenge but Pep’s absolutely spot on when he says his players seem to be getting targeted at the moment, they seem to be on the wrong end of a lot of poor challenges.


Andre Marriner (Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United)

It’s one of those games where you have to let it breathe a little and not be too fussy about your decisions. I think Andre perhaps didn’t do that at times and Spurs could have had a penalty for the Valencia challenge on Alli.

It was a very stop start game, we didn’t see the free-flowing football we like to and perhaps Andre contributed to that a bit by being overly fussy. Alli was right cautioned for a petulant little kick on Alexis and that’s got to be worked on, he’s got to knock that out of his game because other teams will be looking at that in the World Cup.

The law on kick-off is that Andre should have spotted Harry Kane encroaching into Manchester United’s half and play should have been restarted, all players have to be in their own half at the start of the match.


Paul Alcock Tribute

I was about when Paul was refereeing, we were on the list together and he was a lovely man and a fine referee. He was always there to give a helping hand to young referees coming through. He retired to become an assessor for referees coming through and it’s a great, great shame to lose him. Cancer takes no prisoners and he battled it courageously for a number of years and all our thoughts are with his friends and family at this very sad time.


You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

1 Comment on VAR got all three Liverpool decisions correct, whilst Tottenham should have been made to restart Manchester United game in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

  1. The comment about Kane is more sour grapes. Technically correct, but if we follow that then just about every throw in would need to be retaken and about half of free kicks as well, because they are never taken from the right place. If far more signify me in the Spurs/MU match was the blatant penalty for the foul on Alli that was not given.

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