Boly handball and flurry of red cards spark call for VAR in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

There’s no getting away from it, this was a brutal weekend for the Premier League. Four red cards in the Saturday 3pm kick-offs plus a more than dubious handball in Saturday’s live lunchtime game means there’s plenty for former referee Mark Halsey to discuss in this week’s Ref Review…

Martin Atkinson (Wolves vs Manchester City)

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Being fair to Martin it was very difficult for him to see through all those players. But as an assistant who is an international official, maybe I’m being a bit harsh but he should be seeing that.

Boly looks to him straight away to see if he’s going to flag and there’s a case again that if VAR was in the Premier League that goal would have been ruled out.

Lee Probert (Bournemouth vs Everton)

Both teams might claim they should have had penalties but that’s all down to opinion. They were debatable and I’m not sure if VAR would have got involved in those.

Richarlison is absolutely stupid. An idiotic reaction, he deserved to be sent off and deserved his three-match ban. Lee was bang on to send him off and you could see the disgust on his manager’s face when he went off.

I thought Smith’s red card was a bit different and I think there was doubt there. Walcott still had a lot to do, was it a clear goal scoring opportunity? Difficult, but not in my opinion. I don’t think it met the criteria of Law 12, but it’s an opinion and Lee’s opinion is that it was a sending off.

Michael Oliver (Huddersfield Town vs Cardiff City)

Hogg retaliated to Arter in a violent manor and you can’t do that in this day and age. Hogg was silly and deserved to be sent off.

Jon Moss (Southampton vs Leicester City)

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Hojbjerg deserved his first caution for stopping a promising attack and the second one was a clear act of simulation.

He’ll get a one-match ban but he deserves more than that. We don’t want this in our game and now the FA have to start taking stronger action against these players who are trying to deceive the referees. We’re too soft and we’re not stamping it out.

Anthony Taylor (Watford vs Crystal Palace)

Without a doubt there should have been a red card here for Capoue. It was serious foul play, he’s gone right down the back of the calf and Anthony couldn’t have been in a better position.

It’s poor recognition of the offence because in any league in the world that’s a red card. Anthony’s recently been promoted so he can do Champions League games and if he doesn’t show a red card for that in a European game he won’t do another one for a long time.

I don’t think Anthony was completely switched on. You have to be on the ball and four minutes into the game he wasn’t. It has to be dealt with properly whenever it happens.

I feel sorry for Zaha because people have unfairly labelled him as dramatic, but his reaction was good. He made a challenge a few minutes later that wasn’t even a caution and he got one because of the player reaction. He should never have been cautioned for that.

Paul Tierney (Newcastle United vs Chelsea)

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I watched this game and I have to say I think Yedlin was naïve. He’s got the ball but he’s taken the man in a scissor-kick action. In that situation I think Paul has guessed but I think he’s got it right. But he needs to question his positioning. He’s too wide and not central enough to really get a good view but he’s managed to get the decision right.

Craig Pawson (Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur)

Tottenham should have had a penalty. Phil Jones knows what he’s doing. He looks straight at Craig Pawson and once again we have an official in a poor position. He’s moving across the field and actually going away from the incident. If he’s going towards it he gets a better view.

We’ve seen incidents over this weekend where if VAR was involved we’d have seen a number of incidents reviewed and overturned.

You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

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