Even with just five Premier League games this week, there were plenty of talking points to pick out from the referee’s performances.
Starting at Stamford Bridge, Spurs conceded four second half goals in a 4-0 defeat. However, at 1-0 to the Blues, referee Michael Oliver gave a contentious penalty after a collision between Samuel Eto’o and Younes Kaboul in the penalty area. I think it was a soft penalty. Eto’o was certainly looking for a reason to go down and I don’t feel that there was a foul from Kaboul. Oliver then sent off the Frenchman, which added to the punishment, but if the ref deemed it a penalty, he has to then send off Kaboul, which in this case, was very unfortunate.
West Brom‘s woes continued with a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United. I was lucky enough to be at the game and there were two major talking points from the game. Firstly, Ben Foster escaped a red card when he handled the ball outside the penalty area. Referee Jon Moss had a very difficult view, so it was up to his assistant who had a perfect view to see the incident and make a decision. The assistant either didn’t deem it to be handball, or misjudged where Foster handled it. Either way, it was an incorrect call, which would have caused further problems for the Baggies had they been down to ten men.
Later on in the second half, Robin van Persie was booked for a very poor and late tackle on Morgan Amalfitano. John Moss correctly booked the out-of-sorts Dutchman, but it was Moss’ decision not to send off van Persie minutes later that caused a huge amount of aggravation from the West Brom fans. Van Persie flew into a needless tackle on Steven Reid. Moss awarded the free kick before giving the forward a final warning. From my seat, I thought it was a poor tackle, but a final stern warning is normal procedure from my experiences of watching Premier League football. Replays showed that RVP actually got the ball first anyhow, but Moss was not to know that having given the free kick already. I can see both sides of the argument.
Referee Andre Marriner was kept very busy at Carrow Road during the second half. Firstly, Stoke were awarded a penalty after Sabastien Bassong bundled over Manchester City loanee John Guidetti. A fairly straight forward decision for the ref. John Walters converted the spot kick, but was sent off for a late and nasty late tackle on Alexander Tettey. Walters knew exactly what he had done once Marriner blew his whistle and turned towards him with a very innocent look, but he can’t complain about the red card. The tackle was late and with studs showing at that height, there is always a risk of an early bath.