Ref Watch: Ander Herrera should not have seen red; but penalty appeals were right

Ander Herrera protests to referee Mark Clattenburg after his red card
Image: Ander Herrera protests to referee Mark Clattenburg after his red card

Ander Herrera should not have been sent off during Manchester United's goalless draw with Burnley.

That's the view of former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher, who says Mark Clattenburg got that decision wrong, but he was absolutely right not to award any penalties to United during the game at Old Trafford.

More than 2,700 decisions were made by top-flight referees this weekend. Here's Gallagher's verdict on some of the controversial ones, including some big penalty decisions in the Sunderland v Arsenal clash, Crystal Palace's game with Liverpool and Middlesbrough's win over Bournemouth.

MATCH: Man Utd 0-0 Burnley, Premier League, Saturday

INCIDENT:  Ander Herrera is sent off

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Herrera got a second yellow card for a foul on Matthew Lowton

SCENARIO: Herrera was awarded a second yellow card for a foul on Matthew Lowton, but he appeared to slip before clattering into the Burnley player.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Wrong decision

DERMOT SAYS: I think the player is unlucky. He has slipped. It looks as though it is reckless, but he tries to pull out. Mark Clattenburg has seen the follow-through and sees the impact and he gives a second yellow card. It's unfortunate, but that's how he's seen it. He put himself at risk with the way he went into the tackle, but unfortunately for him I don't think he followed through. It is very, very harsh.

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INCIDENT: Jon Flanagan's trip on Matteo Darmian

See Jon Flanagan's challenge on Matteo Darmian which saw Jose Mourinho get very angry on the touchline

SCENARIO: Darmian ran into the side of the penalty area and went down under a challenge from Flanagan. No penalty was awarded and after raging on the touchline, Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands at half-time for complaining to Mark Clattenburg.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct decision

DERMOT SAYS: I don't think it was a foul. There has to be physical contact to make it a foul and this, to me, is no more than a coming-together. I can't see that's enough to put a player down. I'm not trying to defend the referee, I genuinely don't think it's a foul. I didn't think it was on the day when I watched it live and I've watched it over and over again and I don't think it is a foul now. On Saturday, different pundits thought it was a foul and other pundits thought it wasn't. That's the difficulty of this decision and you have to support the referee.

INCIDENT: Jose Mourinho passes messages to his bench

Jose Mourinho is sent to the stands to watch the second half of the clash with Burnley
Image: Mourinho was sent to the stands to watch the second half of the clash with Burnley

SCENARIO: After Mourinho was sent to the stands, he was pictured on camera giving written notes to a colleague to take down to his assistants in the dugout.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: No rules have been broken

DERMOT SAYS: There's nothing to stop it at the moment. For want of a better word, it's un-policeable. The fourth official has to be in the technical area to control that and can't be sat next to Jose Mourinho in the stand. He hasn't contravened any law, as we saw earlier in the season with Mark Hughes on his mobile phone. It's not something that is prohibited at the moment. Until someone comes in hard and fast and says you have to sit in the stand and not make contact then that is where we are.

INCIDENT: Ashley Barnes' challenge on Matteo Darmian

Image: Darmian was twice denied penalties by Mark Clattenburg

SCENARIO: Burnley's Barnes took the ball, but also the man and once again no penalty was awarded.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct decision

DERMOT SAYS: He definitely gets the ball, there's no doubt about that. I think he runs a massive, massive risk because if he doesn't get the ball it's definitely a penalty.

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MATCH: Sunderland 1-4 Arsenal, Premier League, Saturday

INCIDENT: Lamine Kone's challenge on Alexis Sanchez

With the score at 0-1, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez was astonished not to be awarded a 62nd-minute penalty

SCENARIO: With the score at 0-1, Arsenal's Sanchez was astonished not to be awarded a 62nd-minute penalty when he went down under Kone's challenge - just two minutes before Sunderland were awarded a penalty of their own.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct decision

DERMOT SAYS: I don't think this was a foul. There's minimal contact and he [Sanchez] exaggerates it. I don't think a player that strong and that good should go down that easily and in that way. I think the referee got that right.

INCIDENT: Petr Cech is booked, not sent off

Petr Cech brought down Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore, but only got a yellow card

SCENARIO: Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech brought down the onrushing Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore and a penalty was awarded. The goalkeeper, who was the last man, was booked and Jermain Defoe scored to make it 1-1.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct decision

DERMOT SAYS: It's going to be very hard to send a goalkeeper off this season because the new rule says if he makes any attempt to go for the ball, which he has with his hands, he is only going to get a yellow card. A goalkeeper has really got to commit an act of serious foul play to get sent off now.

MATCH: Crystal Palace 2-4 Liverpool, Premier League, Saturday

INCIDENT: Yohan Cabaye appears to stand on Philippe Coutinho

Image: Did Yohan Cabaye intend to stamp on Philippe Coutinho?

SCENARIO: Near the touchline, Crystal Palace midfielder Cabaye challenged for the ball with Coutinho and stood on the Brazilian's ankle when he was down on the floor. No action was taken by the referee or the assistant who was standing next to the incident.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Impossible decision

DERMOT SAYS: The key issue is you can't read what's in his mind. It doesn't look good. Coutinho made nothing of it and maybe he realised the player was close to him and has gone over him accidentally. Only Cabaye knows if he could have avoided him.

INCIDENT: Crystal Palace are not awarded a penalty

Image: Should Crystal Palace have been given a penalty when Wilfried Zaha went down?

SCENARIO: Wilfried Zaha rushed into the penalty area and went down under a challenge from Emre Can, but no action was taken by the officials.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct decision

DERMOT SAYS: I don't think this is a penalty. Both players are running for the ball and there is reasonable physical contact, as you would expect in a football match. I just think he bounces off him. I don't think a footballer would bounce off like that and I don't think it's a foul.

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MATCH: Middlesbrough 2-0 Bournemouth, Premier League, Saturday

INCIDENT: Victor Valdes jumps into Joshua King

Should Middlesbrough goalkeeper Victor Valdes have conceded a penalty and been sent off for this challenge on Bournemouth’s Joshua King?

SCENARIO: Middlesbrough goalkeeper Victor Valdes rushes off his line and clatters into the Bournemouth man, catching him in the face with his knee. No penalty is awarded and therefore no cards are shown.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Wrong decision. A penalty should be awarded and a red card should be shown.

DERMOT SAYS: I'm in the minority here. I saw this on Saturday and my immediate reaction was 'penalty'. I also think it was a red card because I think it's serious foul play. The goalkeeper cannot possibly play that ball and his knee is up and hits him high up. I think it's minimum a penalty and a red card.

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