Ref Watch: Referees 'victims' in handball controversies - Dermot Gallagher

Plus: Did Brighton deserve a second penalty against Manchester United? Should Leicester City have been awarded three penalties vs Manchester City?

West Ham v Wolves highlights 2:59
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Ham's win over Wolves in the Premier League.

In the latest edition of Ref Watch, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher assesses yet more handball controversy around the Premier League...

Dermot joined Rob Wotton on Sky Sports News to review the big decisions...

Tottenham 1-1 Newcastle

preview image 2:59
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham's draw with Newcastle in the Premier League.

INCIDENT: Newcastle were awarded an injury-time penalty out of nowhere as, after checking the pitchside monitor, referee Peter Bankes adjudged Eric Dier had handled in the area - a decision which saw Jose Mourinho storm out of the dugout and down the tunnel.

Andy Carroll heads the ball against Eric Dier as Newcastle are awarded a penalty against Tottenham
Image: Andy Carroll heads the ball against Eric Dier as Newcastle are awarded a penalty against Tottenham
Andy Carroll heads the ball against Eric Dier as Newcastle are awarded a penalty against Tottenham
Image: Andy Carroll heads the ball against Eric Dier as Newcastle are awarded a penalty against Tottenham
Andy Carroll heads the ball against Eric Dier's arm, as Newcastle are awarded a controversial penalty at Tottenham
Image: Andy Carroll heads the ball against Eric Dier's arm, as Newcastle are awarded a controversial penalty at Tottenham

VERDICT: What I want to emphasise here is there has been so much aimed at the referees over the weekend, Eric Dier becomes a victim of the law here because he has his back to the ball, his arms are raised, he does not know he is going to do it.

But Peter Bankes and Kevin Friend at Crystal Palace are equally victims because they have to apply that law and it is stated that if the hand is above the shoulder, the head, it is going to be penalised.

Well, that was clearly above the shoulder, it was accidental I know, but there is no caveat in there to say accidental handball is no longer punishable. So unfortunately, however you cut it, the referee had no choice but to give a penalty.

4:38
A clearly frustrated Jose Mourinho refused to comment on the controversial late handball decision that gave Newcastle a penalty and equaliser.
3:31
Steve Bruce said the new handball rule is nonsense, despite his side benefitting from a late decision to earn a penalty and point against Tottenham.

Carra: Handball rule a disgrace

Andy Carroll heads the ball against Eric Dier as Newcastle are awarded a penalty against Tottenham 1:28
Jamie Carragher described the new rule as 'a joke' after Newcastle were awarded a penalty because of an accidental handball from Eric Dier.

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher:

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"It's an absolute disgrace. An absolute joke.

"Newcastle fans will be ecstatic, I can understand that but everyone else in this country will say exactly what I'm saying.

"Eric Dier jumps for the ball, has no control of where his arms are going to be, it was a header half a yard away from him, hits him on the back of his arm, he has no idea what's going on. This is a joke.

"Whether it's the Premier League, the FA, FIFA, Pierluigi Collina, whoever is involved in this, stop it, because you're ruining football for everybody. Absolute joke.

"You've got more trouble on your hands Premier League, FIFA, UEFA, whoever is involved. Change this now!"

Neville certain interpretation of rule will change

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Gary Neville says he's 'furious' over the new handball rule in the Premier League, claiming that he doesn't think the match officials are even interpreting the new law correctly.

Sky Sports' Gary Neville:

I thought it last weekend with the Manchester United, the week before with the Leeds one at Anfield... it's an absolute disgrace. I'm absolutely certain that rule is going to change in the next couple of weeks, in the sense of the interpretation of the rule. There's no way players, managers, coaches are going to accept that. It is not right.

I've been there as a defender, you have to have your arms [out by your side], you have to be balanced. Your arms have to be extended away from your body, they have to be. It's absolutely impossible.

I actually don't think they're even interpreting the rule right. If you read it, I don't think it's that stringent that they have to apply it in that way. For me, this will change. There have been numerous occasions in the last 10-15 years where little things have come in and they've been thrown away quite quickly, and it will be thrown away, this one."

Crystal Palace 1-2 Everton

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's win at Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

INCIDENT: Joel Ward - making his 250th appearance for Crystal Palace - was the subject of two VAR handball checks. For the first, Ward was under scrutiny for the first time, but he was not penalised for a Richarlison cross hitting his arm on this occasion with it firmly by his side.

VERDICT: Ward has clearly got his arms tucked into his side when Richarlison's strike hits him. He couldn't get his arm in any closer. It's almost behind his back which, as a defender, it's not the ideal position to be in. But he clearly wanted to get his arm out of the way, there's no doubt about that.

INCIDENT: The Crystal Palace defender was not able to avoid a second check. On the second occasion, he was judged to have handled Lucas Digne's header inside the area after the ball hit his wrist, with Richarlison scoring the resulting penalty.

Kevin Friend uses the pitchside monitor
Image: Kevin Friend uses the pitchside monitor

VERDICT: The second one is a little bit different. His arm is slightly extended and this is where I feel for the referees.

I use the word victim, which sounds very powerful, but they have to impose this law whether they like it or not. I say like it or not because I go back to when I was a referee and there were certain things I didn't like, and I'm sure many of the referees, if not all of them don't like this thing that if the arm is slightly extended, it's going to be a penalty. But, as a referee, the unfortunate thing is you cannot pick and choose which laws you apply. You have to apply them across the board.

When Kevin Friend sees that image on the monitor, the arm is away from the body and that's what they are told. Is the arm above the shoulder? No. Is the arm extended away from the body? Everybody will say that's his balance position and I accept that, but that's how the law is constructed. That's where the referees are hamstrung because that's what the law says and they have to follow it.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson 1:14
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson believes the handball laws currently in place are not the right ones for the game, following his side's defeat against Everton.

West Brom 3-3 Chelsea

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Brom's draw with Chelsea in the Premier League.

INCIDENT: Mason Mount's low effort from inside the box was parried by goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, handing the ball on a plate to Tammy Abraham to pounce from a few yards out. There was a big shout from West Brom for handball by Kai Havertz in the build-up to the last gasp equaliser, but because the German didn't make the immediate assist, the goal wasn't ruled out.

VERDICT: The minute that happened last year, the goal would have been looked at and disallowed. It hits Havertz on the arm quite accidentally, gets cleared by a defender, runs across the box, comes to a different player and it does not set up an immediate goalscoring opportunity. What it does, it goes between players, so therefore they are allowed to continue playing and the goal is scored. But it does show that there was some sympathy with what happened last year.

Brighton 2-3 Manchester United

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United's win against Brighton in the Premier League.

INCIDENT: In a remarkable ending at the Amex Stadium, a melee of players from both teams engulfed referee Kavanagh as he headed to the pitchside monitor for a second look at Maupay's handball.

Despite already blowing the full-time whistle, play was pulled back to award United the penalty and Fernandes held his nerve while others were losing their heads around him to seal United's first win of the season.

Harry Maguire heads against the outstretched arm of Neal Maupay
Image: Harry Maguire heads against the outstretched arm of Neal Maupay
Confirmation of the dramatic late VAR review at the Amex stadium
Image: Confirmation of the dramatic late VAR review at the Amex stadium

VERDICT: I think everyone seeing this will say that not only is his arm above the shoulder, he has actually put it towards the ball. Why, he only knows. When the referee whistles, I think the full back on the line was fearing he had handled the ball, rather than headed it clear.

But the VAR quite clearly shows that Maupay has handled the ball and it was a penalty.

INCIDENT: Neil Maupay's stunning chipped penalty down the centre of the goal punished Bruno Fernandes' rash challenge on the lively Tariq Lamptey in the area.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches on from the stands at the Amex Stadium 0:36
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his side's dramatic win against Brighton will be a great boost.

VERDICT: In this situation, Bruno Fernandes has to get the ball. The one thing you can be sure of is Fernandes doesn't get the ball because Lamptey moves it away and the midfielder catches his heel. In that situation you are always going to give a penalty. If you don't get the ball and you get the man, it's going to be a foul every time.

INCIDENT: Aaron Connolly was bundled to ground in the box by Paul Pogba, but referee Chris Kavanagh found it was the Brighton striker who initiated the contact when reviewing at the pitchside monitor.

Aaron Connolly goes down inside the penalty area from a challenge by Paul Pogba
Image: Aaron Connolly goes down inside the penalty area from a challenge by Paul Pogba
Referee Chris Kavanagh checks the pitchside monitor before deciding to not award Brighton a penalty
Image: Referee Chris Kavanagh checks the pitchside monitor before deciding to not award Brighton a penalty

VERDICT: This is very interesting. I watched this game. From the referee's angle, I think every referee would give a penalty. However, you see the angle from behind the goal, which the VAR studied to recommend for the referee to go and have a look at the screen, and you quite clearly see that one, the ball is going to the left and Connolly is going to the right, and two, that he brings his leg back and initiates contact. It's not a penalty for me and this was a really good process between the referee and VAR to get the right decision.

Graham Potter's Brighton will restart their Premier League campaign at home to Arsenal on Saturday 1:03
Brighton boss Graham Potter is bitterly disappointed as his side were beaten 3-2 after a dramatic late penalty was awarded to Manchester United.

Manchester City 2-5 Leicester

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester City's win over Manchester City in the Premier League.

INCIDENTS: Kyle Walker brings down Jamie Vardy for Leicester's first penalty, before Eric Garcia pushes the same player over and then James Maddison is pulled back by Benjamin Mendy for the Foxes' third spot-kick of the game, with referee Michael Oliver awarding all three.

VERDICTS: I think all three are penalties, he [Walker] quite clearly grabs him [Vardy], it is a penalty.

He [Vardy] does run in front of him [Garcia], but he does give him a push, he has his elbow planted in his back, he knows he has done it, he has pushed him in the back.

Again, he [Mendy] pulls him [Maddison] back. The referee does well, he got all three right.

Burnley 0-1 Southampton

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton's win at BUrnley in the Premier League.

INCIDENT: Burnley were appealing for a penalty in the 26th minute when Chris Wood went down under pressure from Jan Bednarek, but a free-kick went the other way for handball after a VAR check, much to the bemusement of Sean Dyche on the sidelines.

VERDICT: There's a slight touch but it wouldn't make me go down like that and it shouldn't make Wood go down like that. No penalty.

West Ham 4-0 Wolves

West Ham v Wolves highlights 2:59
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Ham's win over Wolves in the Premier League.

INCIDENT: Referee Martin Atkinson allowed Pablo Fornals to take a quick free-kick near the centre circle, and he swept the ball into Jarrod Bowen's path. The forward then curled the ball low around Romain Saiss as the Wolves defence closed in and found the back of the net.

VERDICT: I'm not sure the ball was moving. We studied it yesterday, whether the ball had stopped or whether it was a few yards ahead. Here, the referee is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't because it's such quick thinking and it results in such a good goal, if he'd gone back we'd be talking about him potentially spoiling the game. In that instance, the referee has decided that's within the boundaries of acceptability and he's given a goal.

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