A dicey challenge from Arter and tough decisions in the Crystal Palace game in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

After a pretty up and down first weekend of refereeing in the Premier League, gameweek two provided a few more big talking points both on and off the field as we said goodbye to Bobby Madley midweek and saw several referees come under fire for big decisions at the weekend. Mark Halsey once again returns to talk us through the action…

Craig Pawson (Cardiff City vs Newcastle United)

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It’s easy to referee a football match when there’s nothing going on, but the sign of a good referee is when the intensity goes up the refereeing goes up with it.

Sadly, for me, Craig Pawson still has a long way to go before he becomes an established and respected referee at this level. On the Kenedy challenge, Craig is looking straight at it. It’s an act of violent conduct and he should have been sent off for kicking an opponent.

A referee at that level should be seeing those and taking action.

The sending off of Hayden is a silly challenge but you can clearly see Craig going to his right hand pocket to take out his yellow card. It’s obvious to me he got a shout from the assistant on the near side to say it was a red card and that’s why he changed his mind.

You can’t argue with that decision. But for me the worst challenge of the game was by Harry Arter. That was an absolute red card all day long, a poor challenge and could have put the player out for a long time.

You’ve got to question Craig’s decision making and his recognition of offences. There’s no arguments with the penalty. When you raise your arm in that manner you run the risk and you’re asking the referee to make a decision. But the person who should have been sent off stepped up to take the penalty and he shouldn’t have been on the pitch.

I’m not surprised Kenedy wasn’t given a retrospective ban because the referee was looking straight at it so they will deem Craig as seeing it and not deeming it a red card offence.

Mike Dean (Leicester City vs Wolves)

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When you’re 2-0 up why on earth do you make the sort of challenge Jamie Vardy did? Yes ok he’s won the ball but it’s his follow through, look how high he’s caught him up his leg. It’s a poor challenge.

Mike’s in a great position and his recognition of that challenge was good. It was reckless and endangering a player’s safety with excessive force and there’s no complaints with a red card being shown there.

Stuart Attwell (West Ham United vs Bournemouth) 

Stuart gave a penalty after some consultation with his assistant and fair play to his assistant Harry Leonard who has brought it to his attention.

I’m not sure why he hasn’t given it himself because it’s a clear penalty. But at the end of the day between them they have got the decision right.

Martin Atkinson (Chelsea vs Arsenal)

This was a super game and full credit to the players for the way they behaved themselves. At the same time, Martin is a great referee and the players like and respect him. He just let them get on with the game, it was a great game, and I think Martin refereed it very well.

Kevin Friend (Brighton vs Manchester United)

I thought Murray was a little bit unlucky to pick up a caution. A player came over the top of him and we see too many cheap cautions, that’s one of the problems with the current crop of referees.

But you can’t complain on the two penalties given. They were both clear penalties and it’s nice to see Kevin having a good game.

Michael Oliver (Crystal Palace vs Liverpool)

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Michael’s our number one referee and he had two big incidents to deal with in this game. If Salah stays on his feet for the penalty people would be asking why didn’t he go down?

Sakho has stuck his leg out and caught him. You cannot complain it wasn’t a penalty. Salah has every right to go down in that position and I can understand why Michael has given the penalty, I wouldn’t criticise him for that at all.

With the sending off, I don’t believe it was a denial of a goal scoring opportunity. It’s difficult in real time but what a referee has to consider on a denial is a) the distance between the offence and the goal, b) general direction of play and the vital one, c) likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball.

Salah plays the ball and then he’s fouled. He’s got a heavy touch and kicked it to the right of goal, and for me Hennessey is going to get that ball before Salah, even if he’s not fouled. To me that makes it not a denial. It’s a foul but not a denial under that criteria, but I admit that’s a difficult one in real time.

If you word an appeal right Crystal Palace have a chance of getting that overturned.

You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

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