Former Premier League referee
Ref Watch: Jack Grealish, Harry Kane and Callum McGregor decisions analysed by Dermot Gallagher
Penalty calls for Aston Villa and Tottenham and potential red cards for Rangers, Celtic, and more are discussed
Last Updated: 02/09/19 4:25pm
After a busy weekend for VAR, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher picks the bones out of the big decisions in the latest edition of Ref Watch.
The Old Firm derby and the north London derby both took centre stage over the weekend but there was plenty of controversy elsewhere, with three red cards dished out across the Premier League, one angry Norwich manager and a new debate brewing on where the bar should lie on 'clear and obvious errors'.
- VAR: No change to high-bar intervention
- Premier League hits and misses
- Premier League reports and highlights
So how did Dermot see it? Here's Sky Sports' resident ref's view...
INCIDENT: Henri Lansbury's goal is ruled out as the referee's whistle has already gone, so that Jack Grealish can be booked for simulation after going down under Gary Cahill's challenge. VAR does not give a penalty.
VERDICT: Wrong call, Grealish did not dive.
DERMOT SAYS: "VAR was used partly on this. You have to go backwards on it. Did the referee blow the whistle before Lansbury hit the ball? He did, there's no doubt. So there's no way the goal could be given.
"You work backwards, was it a penalty, did Gary Cahill make a foul? The VAR looks at that and says no. I think they're right, it wasn't a foul, so you default back to the referee's decision which is that Jack Grealish simulated.
"Whether you like it or not, VAR could not do anything about it. It all defaulted back to Kevin Friend.
"If the whistle hadn't gone, VAR would've checked whether the goal was legal, and the referee may well have said he felt there was a simulation, so I'm going to give that.
"They can check whether it's a penalty, but they cannot check simulation. The referee made his choice there, it's not the choice I would've made but he made it.
"There's three signs if we wait. Because the referee chose to make his decision when he hit the ground, that's the only thing you can look at.
"The referee's mindset is that he's gone over too easily, that he's trying to win a penalty. I thought it wasn't a dive. I thought Cahill has made contact."
INCIDENT: Harry Kane goes down under a challenge from Sokratis in the final minute in the Arsenal penalty area, but the referee and VAR both decide against giving a spot-kick.
VERDICT: Right call.
DERMOT SAYS: "For me, definitely not a penalty. If you look, he steps across him, takes his ground, sees Sokratis and goes into him. I thought Martin Atkinson not only refereed a fantastic game in a good manner, but he got this absolutely right.
"There's contact there, we don't not wanting too many yellows when contact's made but I think it's not a penalty, that's the key issue."
INCIDENT: Youri Tielemans appears to stamp on Callum Wilson, but after a VAR review he is given a yellow card
VERDICT: Correctly handled based on what the referee saw.
DERMOT SAYS: "It doesn't hit the threshold, the bar is set very high. What shows it's a red card for me, some people I've spoken to say it isn't, the first clip you see, the same angle the referee sees, it doesn't look a red card. During play it didn't look a red.
"I think the threshold has got to be that everyone's going to go, 'yeah we're in that camp'."
"It's a balance. If there's a real decision that VAR can't assist the referee with, if he feels he'd better look at it himself, go and look at it.
"But the trust between referees, they work together week-in, week-out, if someone told me it's a red card, I think I'd just do it."
Dermot explains why referees don't use monitors more
INCIDENT: Jefferson Lerma stands on Jonny Evans when both players go in for a 50/50, the referee gives nothing
VERDICT: Yellow card.
DERMOT SAYS: "The referee didn't see it or give a foul. When you see it, it's certainly a yellow, and a second yellow, but the VAR can't intervene. The debate is, is it a red card challenge? When you look at the Tielemans one and that's not given as a red, it'd be very difficult to give a red for that."
INCIDENT: Before Jordan Jones is sent off for Rangers, Ryan Jack and Callum McGregor both commit bad tackles with significant force, on Boli Bolignoli and Scott Arfield, respectively. Neither is booked.
VERDICT: Right call.
DERMOT SAYS: "There's a few of these. It goes in as low, and hard from McGregor. The referee actually plays on, I think if he stops play he'll give a yellow card.
"With Jack, It's a yellow card at best. He's gone in hard. Both players are committed, it's inevitable they're going to come together. He even gets a little touch on the ball."
INCIDENT: The ball appears to hit Isaac Hayden's hand moments before Fabian Schar scores to equalise for Newcastle, which goes unnoticed by the referee or VAR
VERDICT: Wrong call.
DERMOT SAYS: "It didn't get picked up. Whether that's because they were trying to keep the game flowing and do it as quickly as possible, I don't know.
"But what it will do, it's all about reflection and going forward it'll be - is it offside, is there a foul, is there a handball - go through the checklist, and if it takes another 10 or 15 seconds then so be it."
INCIDENT: Sebastien Haller not given penalty after clear contact in the Norwich box, a VAR review does not overturn the decision
VERDICT: Wrong decision.
DERMOT SAYS: "I think ti's a penalty. The ball is the clue, look at it and it goes away. It's all about reflection, the referees are meeting this week, it might be discussed that the VAR might have got involved.
"It's an ongoing process, we've said it could take three years to iron things out. I said at the start of the season that it'll be a bumpy ride, maybe that's one where they say it should've been overturned."
INCIDENTS: Sebastian Farke is left angered when Haller's late challenge on Christoph Zimmermann and Andriy Yarmolenko's alleged elbow on Tom Trybull both go unpunished by VAR
VERDICT: VAR would not overturn either decision.
DERMOT SAYS: "On the foul, I think he may be wrong to suggest it wasn't reviewed, it may well have been looked at but because the game wasn't stopped, it's looked at in play. It's low, it's not dangerous or endangering his opponent. It's definitely not a red card.
"It's very difficult to say it's an elbow either. How quickly it happens and if it's skimmed into his chest maybe but I wouldn't call it malicious or nasty."