Ref Review: VAR, Premier League, Champions League

Offside, VAR and simulation were all hot topics once again after another crucial week of Premier League and Champions League action. With the stakes rising with every passing week, pressure on officials is rising with it and Mark Halsey returns to look over the most recent big talking points…

Craig Pawson (Crystal Palace vs Brighton & Hove Albion)
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He missed one in the first half. There’s a holding offence against Scott Dann inside the box and I think Knockaert was rather fortunate to stay on the field after less than 30 seconds for his challenge.

Pawson missed the first penalty because he was too busy watching the wall and making sure they didn’t encroach and he’s missed a clear holding offence on Duffy.

The Palace penalty can’t really be argued, he’s stuck his leg out and down he goes. The defender has given him a decision to make.

Graham Scott (Cardiff City vs West Ham United)

I’ve been saying for quite some time, is a caution enough? Is it a sufficient punishment? For me it now has to become a straight red card and a one match ban.

How long have I been saying that it isn’t putting players off? Hernandez’s is blatant and it needs to be upgraded from a caution to a red card.

Lee Mason (Newcastle United vs Everton)

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Lee’s correctly given a penalty but I don’t understand how he hasn’t issued any disciplinary action whatsoever. It’s a clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity from Pickford and he doesn’t even caution him.

It has to be a genuine attempt to play the ball and that was a rugby tackle. He should have been dismissed and that was a very poor decision from a referee at an elite level.

Marco Silva isn’t happy with the final goal and two wrongs don’t make a right but there are several players offside and Rondon is one of them. He makes a move to play the ball and the assistant doesn’t flag and that’s an error on his part. I can only think the assistant has lost his concentration a little.

Kevin Friend (Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur)

No Southampton players complained about Kane being offside and I suppose in those situations assistants give the benefit of the doubt and it seems they did on this occasion. It was close and it begs the question whether that will be given as offside when VAR comes in next season.

You can argue Walker-Peters could have been red carded but I think in real time you have to support Kevin’s decision to caution him. But Kevin has switched off because the free-kick was taken eight yards further forward than it should have been and it’s put Ward-Prowse in a goal scoring position.

I think Sissoko was also very lucky to stay on the field of play. He’s gone down the back of Redmond’s calf and then made a deliberate movement of his head into Redmond’s head and somehow he’s stayed on the field.

We’ve seen Richarlison and Rashford get sent off for similar incidents which weren’t as bad as that last season and served a three-match ban. Violent conduct is violent conduct.

Paul Tierney (Manchester City vs Watford)

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The assistant was absolutely right to indicate an offside offence has occurred, as soon as Sterling makes a move to play that ball he is active in play and that’s why the defender has gone to play the ball away from Sterling.

Paul was trying to be far, far too clever by indicating the defender has played the ball and as a referee there you just give the offside because if it’s wrong you can blame the assistant. Why he’s gone to the assistant I really don’t know.

As I understand it he’s gone back in after the game, watched it and realised he’s made a big error.

Andre Marriner (Liverpool vs Burnley)

It’s a clear free-kick on Allison for the first goal. Andre was going to give it and for some reason he’s changed his mind. It’s 100% a free-kick and he’s ended up cautioning Allison for dissent.

He’s missing too many things at the moment, his positioning and movement isn’t what it should be right now.

Jon Moss (Arsenal vs Manchester United)

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If Jon tries to get a side on view of the penalty I don’t think he would have given it. Lacazette just gets in front, there’s contact between the thighs and for me that doesn’t make you go down.

If Jon had just played on I don’t think anyone would have said anything and I don’t think it was a penalty.

Bjorn Kuipers (Juventus vs Atletico Madrid)

The referee has blown his whistle after the ball goes in the net on the early corner. If he’d blown it before they wouldn’t have been able to check it so on those situations they go with the referee and give the free-kick.

I think the penalty at the end is one of those that is subjective. Is it enough to make him go down? The defender hasn’t done himself any favours by putting his arm up and pushing him in the back because you’re asking the referee to make a decision and it’s hard to argue against it.

Clement Turpin (Manchester City vs Schalke)

I think VAR was correct in all the decisions in this game but I don’t know why it took so long to decide. You could see the decisions were correct so I think the process just needs to be sped up a little.

Szymon Marcinak (Barcelona vs Lyon)

If VAR isn’t working for that incident at the start with the Suarez penalty then you shouldn’t use it for the whole game because it becomes unfair.

You can’t have a penalty given which VAR can’t check and then use it for other decisions in the game. A review would have been recommended for the penalty I imagine.

You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey


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