Better late than never, here’s a review of the key refereeing decisions from the mid-week Premier League matches — and what the match officials got right and wrong.
Beginning at White Hart Lane, the home side were 1-0 down and half time was approaching, when a free kick from Christian Eriksen was converted by an onside Michael Dawson. However, the flag was raised by the assistant referee. I can only assume he has flagged for Emmanuel Adebayor being in an offside position, where he interfered with play as the ball was fired across the penalty area. Adebayor didn’t make contact with the ball but did interfere.
It is hard to distinguish whether the linesman was flagging for Dawson, and made an incorrect call, or if he penalized Adebayor for being in an offside position. I personally have the opinion that the goal was correctly disallowed, but I am not convinced that the linesman was penalizing Adebayor. A decision that former Premier League referee, Graham Poll disagrees with, stating:
“There were thoughts that Emmanuel Adebayor, who was in an offside position as the ball was crossed, might have been given offside but Ledger (assistant) was alleged to have confirmed that it was Dawson for whom he flagged”.
Later on in the same game, Manchester City were awarded a penalty, with the score still 1-0 to the away side. Left back Danny Rose was alleged to bring down Edin Dzeko in the penalty area. Initially, Andre Marriner didn’t award a penalty, but after consulting his assistant, the penalty was awarded, as was a red card. Rose definitely took the ball and the penalty award was incorrect in my view, but Rose didn’t help his own cause by pulling on Dzeko’s arm, as he went in for the tackle. However, the contact wasn’t enough to knock Dzeko off balance, which the assistant should have spotted as well as clean contact with the ball. The assistant had a tough game, but key decisions in big games do have an impact on the result, and although City were looking good for the win with 11 vs 11, ten man Spurs couldn’t stop the flow of goals.
Mathieu Flamini was awarded a straight red card during Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Southampton after flying into a tackle with Morgan Schneiderlin. It was two footed and out of control. This was a simple decision for Lee Mason to make. The picture below shows that he was perfectly placed and to avoid being surrounded by Saints players, he produced the red card immediately, diffusing the situation. Tackles such as this in the modern game are only going to be resulted in a red card, so a player with Flamini’s experience should know better and there is no doubt he has let himself and his team down, not just on Tuesday, but for the next 3 games.
Moving on to Villa Park, where a seven goal thriller went in favor of the home side, but the game did have two very similar incidents, with differing outcomes. Firstly, at 3-3, West Brom central defender Diego Lugano half pulled down Christian Benteke. No complaints about the decision and it was pleasing to see a foul in the box for shirt pulling be awarded. Only a couple of minutes later, Ciaran Clark took a huge risk in bringing down Lugano in an identical incident. A clear penalty, which Mark Clattenburg missed, showing some inconsistency, which is all too common in the penalty box.