On this week’s Ref Watch, Dermot Gallagher reviews whether Salomon Rondon was fouled by Charlie Goode in Everton’s 1-0 defeat at Brentford among other incidents from the Premier League this weekend.
INCIDENT: Ivan Toney came back to haunt his old boss Rafael Benitez with his first-half penalty enough to give Brentford a 1-0 victory over Everton, but the visitors were denied a penalty on the stroke of half-time when Charlie Goode grabbed the shirt of Salomon Rondon inside the box.
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “I think if this is seen, it’s going to get acted on the field. I feel it’s an on-field decision as you can see Goode grabs his shirt.
“You can see he lifts his shirt from the midriff but with the tolerance level we currently have with VAR, Jon Moss doesn’t feel it’s enough to overturn the decision of no penalty.
“If that’s going to be given, it has to be given on field.”
INCIDENT: Andros Townsend was the guilty party with his high boot catching Frank Onyeka in the face, but referee Darren England had allowed play to continue before VAR intervened and called on the official to use the pitchside monitor to review the incident.
Once the spot-kick was given, Toney made no mistake from 12 yards and sent goalkeeper Jordan Pickford the wrong way following a trademark laid-back run-up to extend his penalty record to 19 scored out of 20 efforts.
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “Absolutely, it’s the right decision. To VAR Jon Moss’ credit, he sees what everyone else sees in the replays. It’s a high boot and he connects with him, catches him in the face. It’s a penalty. The referee Darren England was sent over to the screen, but I don’t think anyone is going to argue with that.
“Even if the player stoops down, he’s still at shoulder height and Townsend leads with his studs. Once he connects, it has to be a foul.”
INCIDENT: Moments before Gabriel Martinelli doubled Arsenal’s lead at the Emirates, Newcastle had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Stuart Attwell when Nuno Tavares came shoulder to shoulder with Callum Wilson inside the box.
The officials both live and in review dismissed the incident, but Eddie Howe was adamant Wilson would not have turned down a chance to shoot on goal.
Asked if decisions generally went against his side, Howe said: “I’d say that’s a fair assessment, but it’s just my gut feeling.
“I’m not seeking any controversy here, but the 50-50 calls tended to go against us. Against top clubs, away from home, that can happen.
“When Callum gets goal-side of the defender in on goal, I don’t think he’s going to go down in that situation unless he’s fouled. The key moment came with that one-on-one.”
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “No, this is not a penalty for me. They’re shoulder to shoulder. Sideways on you can see it’s not a penalty. Tavares is well within his rights to challenge like that.”
INCIDENT: Manchester United were leading Chelsea at Stamford Bridge when the home side’s pressure finally told as Aaron Wan-Bissaka clipped Thiago Silva in the box after a corner, with a penalty the only outcome. Michael Carrick, however, disagreed with the decision.
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “I think Michael Carrick is in the minority. I think most people thought it was a penalty, and so did I. Wan-Bissaka no doubt kicks out trying to hit the ball, but there’s no doubt that he catches Silva. He gets the man and he catches him.
“To Anthony Taylor’s credit, he takes his time and lets it run through his mind before pointing to the spot. That’s what top referees do. He had a look, as once you blow the whistle, you close your options. It was absolutely correct.”
INCIDENT: Cristiano Ronaldo was a yard offside as Manchester United counter-attacked Chelsea but the linesman’s flag stayed down. United earned a corner but as Ronaldo failed to get his shot away, VAR could not intervene. Thomas Tuchel was booked for his reaction. But was this just missed? As the linesman would have flagged?
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “When it happens, you automatically think the linesman is delaying the raising of his flag to wait for the outcome. But the minute the ball is then intercepted by Thiago Silva, you expect the flag to go up.
“It ought to have gone up, but because he hasn’t raised his flag, clearly he hadn’t seen it and felt Ronaldo was onside – which led to Tuchel being upset. You can’t condone his behaviour towards the officials and that’s why he received a yellow card.
“It raised an interesting issue as had Ronaldo put the ball into the net, it would’ve been ruled out for offside. But because United got a corner, they then had a free hit so to speak. Had they scored from the corner, there’s no option for VAR to then intervene. That’s one of the vagaries of the system.”
INCIDENT: Aston Villa substitute Douglas Luiz was shown a red card with 18 minutes left at Selhurst Park only for VAR to intervene.
Referee Michael Salisbury, taking charge of his first Premier League fixture, was asked to review the incident and downgraded the tackle on Cheikhou Kouyate to a yellow.
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “This was a pretty feisty game and when you look at where the referee was positioned, his angle suggests he has gone in with a high boot and has caught him.
“Sometimes with VAR, you know as a player you’re safe as you know VAR is going to intervene and it felt like that on this particular incident. You felt it would be overturned.”
INCIDENT: Burnley’s home Premier League fixture with Tottenham was postponed due to heavy snow conditions at Turf Moor, while two games on Sunday were impacted by snowstorms – at Leicester and Manchester City. Michael Oliver delayed the second half at the Etihad to allow the pitch to be cleared.
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “First of all as a referee, you are thinking, ‘can you see the important lines?’ The bylines and the penalty areas etc. The other consideration is the ball, as it was picking up snow towards the end of the first half.
“There was an eight-and-a-half-minute delay… the break ran on for 23-and-a-half minutes… but it was worth it because the groundsmen cleared that entire pitch. It was absolutely fantastic and the second half flowed so full credit to all involved.”