Last weekend didn’t see too many referees come under the spotlight, but Mark Halsey is back once again to look at busy days for Martin Atkinson, Jon Moss and Andre Marriner, a relatively simple Monday night match for Kevin Friend and Michael Oliver’s big decision which was overshadowed by events post-match at Leicester City…
Andre Marriner (Fulham vs Bournemouth)
I don’t think Fulham can have any complaints with the penalty and the red card for McDonald. Two reckless challenges and rightly two cautions, the second one he’s given Andre no choice but to send him off.
I think they can count themselves rather fortunate that Kamara also wasn’t sent off for kicking the ball away shortly after rightly being cautioned for simulation. Another referee may well have sent him off but I wouldn’t criticise Andre for not doing, I can understand why he didn’t.
They were 3-0 down, not long to and already a man down and I think he just managed that situation, I’d have done the same myself. But as I’ve said before, we won’t see the end of simulation unless it’s a straight red card, we won’t get rid of it otherwise.
Michael Oliver (Leicester City vs West Ham United)
The game was obviously overshadowed for the terrible news after the match but in terms of the game, Michael showed why he’s one of our top referees. His recognition of challenges is top class, his fitness means he gets himself into great positions and he had no hesitations to send Mark Noble off.
It was the absolute correct decision and I honestly think Michael is at the top of his game right now, he’s the best referee we’ve got.
Martin Atkinson (Crystal Palace vs Arsenal)
I don’t think Xhaka can have any complaints on the second penalty given against him and I think even the player himself has come out and said it was a foul since the game.
When you stick your leg out like that you run the risk, it’s a clear penalty and he can have no complaints, I think both were penalties correctly awarded. Arsenal were a little bit lucky they got their second goal because there’s a clear handball from Lacazette in there and I’m surprised that wasn’t picked up by the officials.
You want to be picking that up and if you don’t you hope one of your colleagues will bail you out, but that didn’t happen on Sunday.
Jon Moss (Manchester United vs Everton)
In real time it is a very, very difficult to see if there’s a touch on the ball for the Manchester United penalty. What a referee does in those situations is look for a change in direction of the ball. It did change direction but only very slightly, at that moment it didn’t look like it live.
What I would say is Jon got himself into the wrong position. He was too far wide, he needed to be inside right, towards the centre. It was a difficult situation for Jon but Martial’s body language was sheepish, I think he knew it wasn’t a penalty and I don’t know why he’s thrown himself like he did.
In my opinion, it wasn’t a penalty but it was a difficult decision for Jon Moss. The Everton penalty was clear, Smalling knew it and the only question raised was should Smalling have been sent off for a second caution? I’d support Jon on that one, he’s given the penalty and that’s that.
We’re seeing far too many cheap cautions lately and players sent off for cheap second cautions so I think the penalty was a sufficient punishment.
Kevin Friend (Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City)
This was the big game but nothing really to talk about majorly with the officials. All the talk was about the pitch and I have to say I’m surprised the Premier League allowed Tottenham to play on that pitch, the NFL must be laughing themselves silly with their great big logo in the middle of the pitch.
I remember last season Leicester weren’t allowed to shape the grass as they wanted to yet you’ve got all that advertising on the Wembley pitch.
The one thing you could talk about was Mendy’s little lash out. I always say don’t go looking for trouble but Law 12 does state that striking or attempting to strike an opponent is an act of violent conduct and should be punishable with a red card, so you could argue he was lucky.
You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey