Liverpool get a lucky break while Manchester City and United match refereed “excellently” in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

The most recent weekend of Premier League action possibly brought up some of the most talked about officiating of the season before. Mark Halsey is back to explain his thoughts on all the big decisions, plus there’s even a controversial talking point from the FA Women’s Super League…


Martin Atkinson (Cardiff City vs Brighton & Hove Albion)

Brighton may be a bit upset with the Cardiff winner but all the assistant referee can see in his eye-line is Junior Hoilett, so he wouldn’t have been able to see that Sol Bamba was just offside.

I can understand why it wasn’t disallowed but after that Bamba has taken his shirt off and Martin has missed it. Unlike last week, there were no special circumstances and Bamba should have been cautioned. Martin should have seen that, his assistant should have helped him but they didn’t, that kind of made a mockery of poor old Lee Probert last week.

As a referee, you look at the scorer and you don’t take your eyes off him. On the red card, it’s spot on and an excellent decision from Martin, Brighton can have no complaints.


Chris Kavanagh (Huddersfield Town vs West Ham United)

Chris was in a good position to spot a potential foul on Zanka inside the box and he hasn’t picked it up and Wagner had a point in mentioning it after the match.

As a referee, sometimes it just doesn’t feel right and if it doesn’t feel right you don’t give it. On this occasion, Chris felt it wasn’t a penalty but slowing it down it looks totally different, it’s one of those things that happens unfortunately.


Simon Hooper (Southampton vs Watford)

When Bertrand goes to ground in that manner he runs the risk. As a referee, if a penalty comes your way that’s the way you want them to happen because Bertrand has got no way of winning that ball when he commits himself in that manner.

Simon should have given a penalty but in my personal opinion I wouldn’t have shown Bertrand a second caution in that situation, I’d have just awarded the penalty.

I keep saying we see far too many cautions for players being sent off for next to nothing, had he given the penalty I’d have supported him not giving a second caution.

The disallowed goal is a poor decision because Yoshida isn’t interfering with play, he isn’t active because he doesn’t make a move to play the ball and doesn’t interfere with the players around him.


Paul Tierney (Liverpool vs Fulham)

On the offside, the assistant wasn’t in line because it was a quickly taken corner and he wasn’t ready. He had players in an offside position but not involved in active play. He made it difficult because he was out of position and other players offside. Obviously he’s guessed and he’s guessed wrongly.


If Fulham go 1-0 up then who knows. Plus the fact the ball is moving when Liverpool take the free-kick and it was a tough few minutes for Fulham.


Kevin Friend (Chelsea vs Everton)

Kevin hasn’t seen the incident between Rudiger and Bernard, the other officials have got involved and you could perhaps say Bernard is a little fortunate when you look at previous incidents this season.

Richarlison and Rashford have been sent off for those sort of incidents so he might have been a tad lucky not to see red.


Anthony Taylor (Manchester City vs Manchester United)

We started off the weekend with the Sheffield derby which Andy Madley was outstanding in and it ended with an excellent performance from Anthony Taylor.

He can hold his head up high, he got the penalty decision spot on and had a fantastic game.


David McNamara Controversy (FA Women’s Super League referee suspended)

We’ve all done it, I’ve done it. I just find it staggering they’ve suspended him for 21 days over a small matter like forgetting a coin.

Where do you stop? You can argue Martin Atkinson didn’t apply law by not cautioning Sol Bamba, are they going to suspend him? Of course they’re not.

Just give him a nudge and remind him for next time. I’ve left my whistle behind at a Liverpool vs Manchester United game once, we’ve all done it and I just think it’s a little bit over the top to be honest.


You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

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