Manchester City and Arsenal strike lucky over the weekend in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

Last weekend saw Jose Mourinho in the news again following a last second scuffle on the touchline. Elsewhere, there were some baffling decisions at the Etihad, a couple of strong handball appeals and a controversial decision or two in the Champions League. Mark Halsey is back once again to give his opinion…


Mike Dean (Chelsea vs Manchester United)

I thought he did very well and refereed very well. You can’t blame him for what happened in the technical area and the Chelsea assistant has rightly been charged and it’s done with now. Jose wasn’t happy with the stoppage time but the referee is the judge. and you just have to put up with that.


Jon Moss (Manchester City vs Burnley)

Let’s start with the first 30 seconds. I thought Kompany was a clear red card, Jon just didn’t recognise the intensity of the challenge and just saw it as reckless. For me, it was a challenge that endangered the player’s safety with excessive force and brutality. It doesn’t matter it was the first 30 seconds, it could have made a massive difference to the game.

There’s a lot to learn from the second goal. One is never put the whistle to your mouth and change your mind. Does the assistant referee switch off because of that? It’s difficult to see from his angle across the pitch the ball has gone out but he should have recognised Silva was offside after Sane had last played the ball forward

With the Sane challenge, I thought it was only a caution. But when you look at Joe Ralls’ red card a few weeks ago, I thought that was a caution too and he got a red card for a similar offence.


Martin Atkinson (West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur)

Martin is one of our top referees but I thought again it’s a referee that hasn’t recognised the intensity of a challenge with Robert Snodgrass.

He didn’t even give a free-kick and maybe he will have a look again at his position. It sounds odd but sometimes you can be too close, if he’s 5-10 yards further back he’d see it in a different light. I think it was a red card but there wasn’t even a free-kick given and you have to ask why.


Lee Mason (Wolves vs Watford)

A referee of Lee’s experience should look and give himself a bit of time and hold the whistle when a Wolves player is in on goal. There’s an advantage, let the game flow and if there’s no advantage bring it back. Lee should be experienced to do that and maybe he’s lacking match fitness because he doesn’t get many Premier League games these days.

I wasn’t sure about the penalty appeal. It’s one of those that’s a matter of opinion and in Lee’s opinion it wasn’t a penalty kick.


Michael Oliver (Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool)

I think Michael got this right. Handball has to be a deliberate movement of ball to hand and in this case it wasn’t. It’s deflected up off Milner’s knee onto his hand so in my opinion Michael was correct not to give the decision.


Anthony Taylor (Everton vs Crystal Palace)

Anthony is absolutely spot on to give the penalty and Zaha will be relieved he’s finally earned himself a penalty. It’s a clear trip by Coleman so well done Anthony. He’s in a fantastic position, realised it’s a careless challenge and come quickly to the correct decision.


Chris Kavanagh (Arsenal vs Leicester City)

Chris got this one wrong I’m afraid. This one was a deliberate act of handball by Rob Holding. Holding has moved his arm towards the ball and Leicester will feel aggrieved they didn’t get a penalty at a key point in the game.


Slavko Vincic (PSV vs Tottenham Hotspur)

It’s bad decision making from Lloris again in the Champions League. When you come out like that and lunge at the player like he did he runs the risk. At Champions League level you’re not going to get away with it because he endangered the player’s safety. I don’t think Vincic has sent him off for denial of a goal scoring opportunity, I think it’s for the nature of the challenge itself.


Daniel Siebert (Liverpool vs Red Star Belgrade)

A lot of people say players don’t go down and they don’t get penalties but on this one Mane is looking for it. He’s run into his arm, the defender’s arm doesn’t even make contact with Mane’s face and it’s a very, very soft penalty.

The second one, again, it has to be deliberate handball. He’s headed it onto his own arm and I don’t think that was a penalty either. It likely didn’t affect the result but neither were penalties in my opinion.


You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

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