Southampton against Manchester City was the showpiece game of the weekend, following the home side’s superb start to the season. Mike Jones was the man in charge at St Mary’s and had a strange first 45 minutes. The most bizarre decision was to punish Sergio Aguero for a dive, when it was clear that Jose Fonte made strong enough contact inside the area. Fonte even tried to convince the referee that it was a free-kick, outside the box, which added to the confusing decision Jones decided to make. It should have been a penalty.
In the second half, Elaquim Mangala didn’t show his worth of most expensive Premier League defender, as he was sent off for two bookable offences. Both were clumsy, especially the second on Shane Long. Mangala knew he was on a yellow and despite Long being in a good position to score, there were defenders nearby who could have got across to support. A poor decision from the Frenchman to make the challenge, meaning he was rightly sent off.
The use of the goal decision system was again shown to be a great tool for the officials at Old Trafford. Chris Smalling smashed the ball towards goal after a goal-mouth scramble and after Anthony Taylor checked his watch, the goal was given. The linesman’s view was far from ideal and he wouldn’t have been able to give a goal, with four Hull City players blocking the ball.
Diego Costa has been known to lose his temper from his time at Atletico Madrid and he was very close to doing so again on Saturday evening in the Blues’ 0-0 draw at the Stadium Of Light. Firstly, Costa reacted to a John O’Shea tackle and should have been booked by Kevin Friend. The second incident involved Wes Brown. Costa tried to bring the ball down, but in doing so, caught Brown with his right arm. It was an accident in my opinion, but considering the amount of pressure Friend was under from the crowd and Sunderland players, a booking was the best thing to do to calm the situation down.
Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko was booked twice in the space of two minutes to see red at Upton Park. The first yellow was really unnecessary. Kicking the ball away is a mandatory yellow, so that was incredibly poor. Sissoko didn’t calm down after that incident and cynically fouled Mark Noble. Mike Dean had no choice but to send Sissoko off.
Burnley won a penalty in the last 10 minutes at Turf Moor. The leagues newest referee, Graham Scott made the correct decision to award the Clarets’ a penalty after Lukas Jutkiewicz was wrestled to the ground by Jores Okore. I thought Okore should have seen red as the ball was about to be stuck towards goal.
Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey was penalised after clumsily bringing down Marouane Chamakh, minutes after taking the lead. It was an easy decision for Martin Atkinson to make and he had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Away from decisions, Mark Clattenburg was again left out of the Premier League and is only a fourth official in Tuesday’s game at the King Power between Leicester City and Liverpool. He made a mistake in going to a concert after a game and leaving his colleagues, but he shouldn’t be punished for it week after week. He is the league’s best referee and should be in charge of the big games, regardless of his taste of music.
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