Liverpool and Arsenal were fortunate last weekend says Mark Halsey in Ref Review

We call on’s Mark Halsey to talk us through another busy weekend of refereeing action…


Neil Swarbrick (Crystal Palace vs Liverpool)

When you look at the first incident with Mane there’s the slightest contact but why does he not go down straight away? Not every bit of contact is a penalty kick, there’s minimum contact from the defender and you have to say is Mane trying to deceive the referee and I think he is.

Mane then thinks he’s fouled and he’s grabbed the ball and I was always told you play to the whistle, Mane can count himself very lucky that he didn’t get a second caution. Neil might be wondering about the first one but you’ve got to be tough, that’s gone. At that stage it’s a game changer.


Chris Kavanagh (Brighton & Hove Albion vs Leicester City)

The penalty is a penalty, there’s no arguments with that, but I think Chris has once again showed his lack of recognition on the red card incident. He’s gone in too quick like he did in the Burnley vs Everton game and not given himself time to think, it’s not a second caution for me and he needs to work on that.


Andy Madley (Watford vs Bournemouth)

It’s pleasing to see Andy has been given his chance and it should have come three or four years ago to be honest.

I don’t know why it’s taken so long but he’s got off to a really good start, he’s spotted a deliberate handball and I hope he’s there week in, week out because you need that chance to get some consistency.


Craig Pawson (Arsenal vs Stoke City)

The big decision was the first Arsenal penalty, Stoke were comfortable at that point and the defender clearly wins the ball before Ozil initiates contact.

Craig is in a poor position because he’s gone wide, if he’s more central he’d see that the Stoke player has won the ball. It’s changed the game with 15 minutes to go, Stoke’s heads have gone down and Arsenal went on to win comfortably.

The second penalty is asking the officials to make a decision, the assistant has given it and I don’t think you can argue with it.


Andre Marriner (Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur)

I thought Andre did well, he wasn’t fussy and he let the game breathe. There was a rash challenge from Vertongthen late in the game but nobody is talking about the officials and that’s what you want in those games.

There was a coming together between Fabregas and Lamela, Lamela has stepped on him and Fabregas has had a little kick out but the referee has chosen to ignore it. I would have liked to have a seen a free-kick given but Andre chose to play on.


Felix Brych (Liverpool vs Manchester City)

You have to praise Felix for how he handled the game, he wasn’t fussy and he let the physical challenges ago. He stamped his authority on the game and he did that in the 45th minute with Otamendi and nobody can complain with the cautions he issued.

The offside call is very tight and I don’t think you can blame the official for getting it wrong although Manchester City will possibly feel hard done by.


You can follow lMark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

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