Crystal Palace only themselves to blame whilst Arsenal unlucky not to get a penalty in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

In a Premier League campaign that is fast becoming about a lot of penalties and not much else when it comes to refereeing, ex-professional referee Mark Halsey is back again to look over the weekend’s decisions that were given and a few that weren’t.


Michael Oliver (West Ham United vs Manchester United)

The offside isn’t down to Michael and he can only go by what the assistant referee does and he didn’t flag. Having said that, it’s another incident where if VAR was involved that goal would have been ruled out.


Roger East (Everton vs Fulham)

To be fair to Roger he didn’t give the penalty, the assistant referee gave the decision. Some would say it’s harsh and some would say it’s a nudge in the back but I think they’ve got it right.


Craig Pawson (Huddersfield Town vs Tottenham Hotspur)

I think Craig was fortunate because when Tottenham scored their first goal there was a clear penalty on Harry Kane. He got lucky because the ball came back across and they scored but if they hadn’t there might have been one or two comments from the players and the manager.

The penalty that was given, was the contact enough to make him go down? We’ve seen it elsewhere this weekend where players have stayed on their feet so should we complain when a player goes down under minimal contact? I suppose the answer is no we shouldn’t.

Some people may think it was soft but soft isn’t in the laws. Craig has seen fit to give it so he gave it.


Anthony Taylor (Arsenal vs Watford)

And here’s a prime example of a player staying on their feet instead of going down. Lacazette was fouled but he stayed on his feet. Had he gone down he probably gets a penalty. If you look at that and the Danny Rose incident, they’re identical but one goes down and one doesn’t.

His honesty has cost him a penalty. If he goes down the referee has a decision to make because there’s more contact on him than there is Danny Rose. Players are going down under minimal contact and it’s up to the referee to judge. Intent has gone out of the laws of the game. I think players do feel they have to go down to get a decision. I know what I would do if I was a player and possibly it is the fault of the referees but you can also understand from a credibility point of view why they don’t give those.


Lee Mason (Manchester City vs Brighton & Hove Albion)

The handball law is simple regarding Fernandinho. Law 12 states it has to be a deliberate movement of the hand towards the ball. Irrespective of where your hands are doesn’t mean to say there’s an offence that’s been committed. It’s about whether there’s a deliberate movement.

I keep hearing about unnatural positions but there’s nothing in the laws about that. If you look at the one Leicester got you can’t argue with it and you can also argue Cardiff should have had a penalty against Burnley for the same thing.


Andre Marriner (Chelsea vs Liverpool)

This was the big game of the weekend and Andre’s a seasoned pro. He goes about his business quietly but confidently and the players respect him. That’s why he gets these games because there’s no fuss, you know he’ll deliver a game safely and doesn’t go looking for trouble. Nine times out of ten he brings the game home safely.


Mike Dean (Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace)

Crystal Palace’s goal was clearly offside and why the assistant referee hasn’t seen that I don’t know. As for the penalty, I think Mike was being proactive and has gone in there and told the pair of them to stop it. It comes back out and what happens? On another day Sakho could have seen red for violent conduct but I think Mike got it correct and Palace have only got themselves to blame.


You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

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