Ref Watch: Dermot Gallagher analyses Premier League decisions

Mesut Ozil of Arsenal holds off Jordi Amat of Swansea
Image: Did Jordi Amat (left) foul Mesut Ozil in the lead-up to Swansea's first goal

Ref Watch is back to debate another batch of controversial decisions from the midweek football fixtures.

Former top-flight referee Dermot Gallagher joined Rob Wotton in the Sky Sports News HQ studio to go through a number of contentious calls after a full Premier League midweek schedule.

From debatable tackles to penalty decisions, we have picked out a number of incidents which were reviewed during Thursday's Ref Watch.

MATCH: Arsenal v Swansea, Wednesday

INCIDENT: Ashley Williams scores a 74th-minute winner from Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick. The goal was given.

Ashley Williams: Was it a handball?
Image: Ashley Williams bundled the ball in after a cross from a free-kick

SCENARIO: Williams converts Sigurdsson's free-kick past Petr Cech, but Arsene Wenger felt the Swansea captain may have handled the ball as well as being in an offside position.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

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GALLAGHER SAYS: I don't think it's handball at all. I can understand why he [Wenger] thinks that, it looks like the ball hits his arm. When you actually see it, he lifts his arm, comes off his thigh and it goes in.

The ball has just been kicked and you would say it's just been so tight [to give offside]. You've got to give the benefit of the doubt to the attacker. The assistant is well within his rights to keep his flag down, it's not obvious so you could not say it's definitely offside. 

MATCH: Liverpool v Manchester City, Wednesday

INCIDENT: Manchester City appeal for a penalty after deeming James Milner's goal-line clearance was handball. No penalty was given.

James Milner did not appear to handball Augero's header off the line
Image: Did James Milner handle Aguero's header off the line?

SCENARIO: David Silva's cross is met by Sergio Aguero, but Milner blocks it on the line, raising suspicions of handball. Referee allows play to continue.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: Good block I think. He leans in, his arms are down by his side but I think he definitely takes it on his chest.

MATCH:  Leicester v West Brom, Tuesday

INCIDENT: Stephane Sessegnon is booked for reacting to a challenge by Christian Fuchs, moments before Danny Drinkwater scores for Leiecester.

Fuchs appeared to plant his foot on Sessegnon's ankle
Image: Fuchs appeared to plant his foot on Sessegnon's ankle

SCENARIO: With Leicester 1-0 down, Drinkwater scored an equaliser in the 30th minute but Sessegnon was booked after the goal for his reaction to a challenge by Leicester defender Fuchs in the build-up to the goal.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW:  Foul: Wrong decision. Reaction: Correct decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: My first reaction when I saw it was no foul [by Fuchs]. When you see it again from a different angle it's definitely a foul. It's a yellow card at least, bordering on a red card. He's [Sessegnon] berated the official too much and Mark Clattenburg has backed the assistant, and the assistant thinks it wasn't a foul.

MATCH: Arsenal v Swansea, Wednesday

INCIDENT: No action taken on Jordi Amat for his tussle with Mesut Ozil before Wayne Routledge scores to level the match at 1-1.

Mesut Ozil and Jordi Amat: Should the referee have blown for a foul on Ozil?
Image: Ozil and Amat: Should the referee have blown for a foul?

SCENARIO: Amat makes a challenge on Ozil before Routledge goes through to score. Referee Robert Madley allows play to continue and the goal was given.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: I think it's 50-50 to be honest. It's strong. He's [Amat] gone in fairly and to play the ball. Both players are grappling. Correct decision by the referee.

MATCH: Stoke v Newcastle, Wednesday

INCIDENT: No action taken on Geoff Cameron by referee Neil Swarbrick for a challenge on Aleksandar Mitrovic. 

Geoff Cameron was not booked for putting his hand in Aleksandar Mitrovic's face
Image: Geoff Cameron was not booked for putting his hand in Aleksandar Mitrovic's face

SCENARIO: Cameron appeared to block a run by Mitrovic by putting his hand across the striker's face. The referee awards a free-kick to Newcastle but Cameron gets no caution.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Wrong decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: He's a very lucky boy. Very lucky. When you put your arm in somebody's face like this you run a massive risk. His hand is actually in his face, he comes round the back. It's not nice. He's lucky to have just given away a free-kick and not even get spoken to. I would say a minimum yellow card, maybe a red card depending on where he's caught him.

MATCH: Manchester United v Watford, Wednesday

INCIDENT: A free-kick is awarded to Manchester United after Anthony Martial goes down under a challenge from Miguel Angel Britos.

Dermot Gallagher feels Anthony Martial deceived the referee
Image: Dermot Gallagher feels Anthony Martial deceived the referee

SCENARIO: Martial jinked past a couple of defenders before being felled by Britos roughly 25 yards out, the referee gave a free-kick and Juan Mata scored what proved to be the winning goal.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Wrong decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: It doesn't look a foul, he [Martial] just goes down. He's deceived the referee. When you see it again it's definitely not a foul. Martial would get a yellow card for deceiving the referee if he saw it.

MATCH: Manchester United v Watford, Wednesday

INCIDENT: Sebastian Prodl and Matteo Darmian tussled in the Man United penalty area. No penalty was given.

Sebastian Prodl tussles in the box with Matteo Darmian
Image: Sebastian Prodl tussles in the box with Matteo Darmian

SCENARIO: An in-swinging corner by Ben Watson was met by the head of Prodl, but the Austria international goes down after battling with Darmian.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: Both players were at it. It's just what we see week-in, week-out. 

MATCH: Norwich v Chelsea, Tuesday

INCIDENT: Diego Costa receives the ball appearing to be in an offside position before scoring. A goal was awarded.     

Diego Costa was offside when he scored against Norwich on Tuesday night
Image: Diego Costa was offside when he scored against Norwich on Tuesday night

SCENARIO: Bertrand Traore clips the ball through to Costa, who chips over John Ruddy and into the back of the net. The Chelsea striker looked to be standing in an offside position but the linesman's flag stays down.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Wrong decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: The assistant was in the wrong position when that ball is played. When you watch it again the linesman moves back upfield and the ball actually goes that way so he's deceived himself because he's moved the wrong way.

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