It was a bumper week of action with both weekend and midweek games and the former certainly provided plenty of talking points on Friday and Saturday, plus a Sunday which saw Manchester United face Liverpool and the League Cup final between Manchester City and Chelsea. Mark Halsey once again gives us his thoughts on the action…
Simon Hooper (Cardiff City vs Watford)
It wasn’t a difficult decision to award Cardiff a penalty and Simon just failed to recognise the foul challenge. It’s a clear, clear penalty and I know Neil Warnock went to speak to the referee and he admitted and apologised that he’d missed a penalty. It changes the game if they go in at 1-1 and Cardiff come out a buoyant side but that’s how it goes.
Lee Mason (West Ham United vs Fulham)
On the Hernandez handball, it was a difficult decision to see through those players but a referee has to expect the unexpected and get in a good position to see. You’d like to think someone would see it but it was a difficult one, though Fulham will feel aggrieved.
Mike Dean (Burnley vs Tottenham Hotspur)
Mauricio Pochettino was clearly frustrated because their title hopes took a huge knock. You can’t react like that and he was correctly charged with improper conduct. I always used to tell a manager to come and see me in the dressing room but this happened on the pitch and continued into the tunnel.
You can’t enter the field of play, it’s not good and it’s not setting a good example. Both sides had arguments on their goals, Tottenham with the corner and Burnley with the throw-in so both can feel a bit aggrieved.
Roger East (Bournemouth vs Wolves)
I think two of the penalties were correct. You can have no complaints on the first Bournemouth penalty or the Wolves penalty but I think Bournemouth’s second was outside the box and with VAR that wouldn’t have been given.
You can also argue Wolves perhaps should have had a second penalty for Chris Mepham’s handball. He looked straight at Roger and knew it was handball but Roger didn’t give it.
Kevin Friend (Newcastle United vs Huddersfield Town)
Huddersfield have had cause for complaint on some decisions this season but not on this. You can’t make a challenge like that which endangers the player’s safety and it was a pretty simple decision for Kevin to send off Tommy Smith.
Anthony Taylor (Leicester City vs Crystal Palace)
There’s no complaints on the penalty here. It was clumsy from Jonny Evans and a bit naïve and I’m not sure he or Leicester can be surprised the penalty was given by Anthony.
Michael Oliver (Manchester United vs Liverpool)
Michael handled the game very well and he’s our best referee now. He was switched on from the first few seconds when De Gea handled a back pass. He had a good game, he’s respected by the players and you can see they trusted him.
Jon Moss (Manchester City vs Chelsea)
Jon handled it well. There was no major contentious decisions and the substitution fiasco is nothing to do with the referee. He has to make sure the game continues and he did that very well. He went and spoke to Kepa and then went to speak to the bench to ensure the game got back underway.
Andre Marriner (Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur)
I thought Harry Kane was a bit lucky. We’ve seen other players like Marcus Rashford sent off this season but he hasn’t been charged as it’s been deemed Andre Marriner saw the incident.
I don’t think Andre’s having one of his better seasons and I think he missed a few small incidents and challenges in the game.
Stuart Attwell (Manchester City vs West Ham United)
I don’t think it’s a penalty. He’s exaggerated the contact when he felt the hand on his back and gone down easy. West Ham were a bit unlucky but sometimes you get those and sometimes you don’t, I thought on this occasion it wasn’t enough for a penalty.
You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey