Ref Watch: Harry Maguire lucky against Chelsea, Lucas Digne's red card correct - Dermot Gallagher

Should Chelsea have had a penalty against Manchester United? Should Lucas Digne have been shown a red card? Was Arsenal's early goal right to be ruled out? And were Sheffield United right to be given a penalty at Anfield?

Harry Maguire climbs over Cesar Azpilicueta to head clear
Image: Harry Maguire climbs over Cesar Azpilicueta to head clear

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher is back to assess the controversial decisions from around the Premier League...

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

Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the 0-0 draw between Manchester United and Chelsea in the Premier League

INCIDENT: Chelsea will feel they should have had a first-half penalty when Harry Maguire held down Cesar Azpilicueta as a free-kick was swung into the United box.

The incident in pictures...

Harry Maguire was fortunate to avoid giving away a penalty for this hold on Cesar Azpilicueta
Image: Maguire was fortunate to avoid giving away a penalty for this hold on Azpilicueta
Harry Maguire climbs over Cesar Azpilicueta to head clear
Image: Maguire climbs Cesar Azpilicueta to head clear
Harry Maguire climbs over Cesar Azpilicueta to head clear
Image: Maguire climbs over Azpilicueta to head clear

VERDICT: When you see the images again, Martin Atkinson's view is not the best, but when you see the angle from behind the goal that VAR had, you've got to give a penalty. You only had to see one replay from behind the goal. You see the impact it has on Azpilicueta because he's held down, the arms are around his neck, he cannot head the ball and Maguire actually heads the ball away. It has to be a penalty.

The incident raises an interesting issue in so much as the ball was in play and I wonder if it wasn't scrutinised enough because it was cleared so quickly. Therefore they didn't look at it as they should have done, which was quite ironic because the ball went up the other end and there was a tackle on Marcus Rashford - which I don't think was a penalty - and it was looked at a number of times, which was a lot easier because the ball was dead.

The learning process here is when the ball is in play, you've still got time to scrutinise it thoroughly.

Also See:

Should Chelsea have had a penalty?

Harry Maguire climbs over Cesar Azpilicueta to head clear 0:30
Chelsea players appealed for a penalty following this incident between Maguire and Azpilicueta, but their claims were waved away

Southampton 2-0 Everton

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton's win over Everton in the Premier League

INCIDENT: Lucas Digne failed in a couple of attempts to bring down Kyle Walker-Peters as he drove forward, before catching the Southampton full-back on the back of the leg to bring a straight red card from referee Kevin Friend.

VERDICT: I think you've got to give a red card for that. I've spoken to a lot of people who think otherwise but when you put your studs down somebody's Achilles you are always going to be sent off for serious foul play. I fully accept he didn't mean to do it and he didn't mean to be malicious, but there are a lot of tackles that players make that are not meant to be, that are mistimed and clumsy and they get sent off.

I just think it is inevitable that he's going to be sent off for that.

Redknapp on Digne's red: The game's gone

Referee Kevin Friend gives Lucas Digne of Everton a helping hand and a straight red after his tackle on Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during the Premier League match between Southampton and Everton at St Mary's Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Southampton, England. 1:28
Jamie Redknapp and Kieron Dyer agree that Lucas Digne was unfortunate to be given a red card for his challenge on Kyle Walker-Peters

Arsenal 0-1 Leicester

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester's win against Arsenal in the Premier League

INCIDENT: Arsenal looked to have got off to the perfect start in the match when Alexandre Lacazette flicked Dani Ceballos' corner in off the post inside four minutes. But the Gunners' celebrations were short-lived, with an instant offside flag penalising Granit Xhaka for interfering with play, despite not touching the ball.

Arsenal and Leicester players protest as the Gunners' early goal is ruled out for offside 0:42
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was angry that this goal from Alexandre Lacazette was disallowed after Granit Xhaka was deemed to be interfering with play when in an offside position

VERDICT: It's difficult for me to explain this. Offside is not my specialist subject and I sought guidance on this as to why it was disallowed. My first reaction was that Xhaka touched the ball, but he doesn't.

The assistant flags because he thinks Xhaka is in the vision of the goalkeeper. They feel he's so close to Kasper Schmeichel and the goal in his starting position that it impacts on the goalkeeper and his ability to move either way. That's why it was disallowed. The assistant signalled it to the referee, the referee agreed with it and the VAR felt the assistant and the referee were right on this occasion.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he could not understand why officials ruled out Lacazette's first-half goal in the 1-0 defeat to Leicester

INCIDENT: Hector Bellerin, who is already on a yellow card, dives into a challenge on James Justin and, with the ball gone, catches the Leicester full-back late. The referee doesn't award a free-kick and therefore there's not a second yellow card, much to the frustration of Leicester.

VERDICT: It's not a second yellow card because the referee didn't give a free-kick. I don't know how he didn't give a free-kick. He just doesn't think it's a foul for whatever reason. I would suggest that if he'd given a foul, he'd have given a second yellow card. I thought it was a foul.

INCIDENT: With Lacazette trying to get his head to the ball, Kieran Tierney's cross hits Christian Fuchs' arm as the defender tries to clear the ball. No penalty is given.

VERDICT: I just can't see that it's a handball. The ball comes across and it might brush against him, but he's gone to kick the ball and his arms are by his sides. You'd be very unlucky to be penalised for that.

Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win against Sheffield United in the Premier League

INCIDENT: Fabinho lunged in on Oli McBurnie on the edge of his own box. Mike Dean initially awarded the visitors a free-kick, but VAR referee Andre Marriner ruled the foul had occurred inside the box, leaving Sander Berge to beat Alisson from 12 yards.

VERDICT: The referee thought it was a foul so therefore they check if it is a penalty because it was so close to the line of the penalty area. The line belongs to the goalkeeper and his foot is on the line so that's where the foul occurs and therefore it goes into the penalty area.

I thought the VAR did really well because he relayed to Mike Dean that it was a factual decision. He could go and give a penalty because it was on the line. The process was really good.

The foul is a subjective decision. The referee thought it was a foul, the VAR thought it was in the penalty area and the VAR didn't think it was a clear and obvious error not to give a foul. Therefore, a penalty was given.

INCIDENT: Sheffield United had serious cause to believe they could have had another penalty with half-time approaching when Berge went over Diogo Jota's outstretched leg just inside the area, but a well-placed Dean saw nothing untoward.

VERDICT: I didn't think this was a penalty. I thought there was minimal contact and there's as much contact from Berge as there is from Jota.

We've got to be very careful. There's physical contact in every football match, from every single challenge, but for me, this wasn't a penalty.

Fulham 1-2 Crystal Palace

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace's win over Fulham in the Premier League

INCIDENT: Graham Scott brandished a red card to Aboubakar Kamara for his challenge on Ebere Eze having consulted his pitchside monitor.

VERDICT: When you see the referee's view, yellow card. When you see the replay and see he comes down on him with his studs, I think red card. The process was good as well because the referee genuinely thought it was a yellow card, but he gets sent to the screen, looks at it and changes his mind to a red card, which I agree with.

Wolves 1-1 Newcastle

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the 1-1 draw between Wolves and Newcastle in the Premier League

INCIDENT: Newcastle won a free-kick after Conor Coady's foul on Callum Wilson. Josh Murphy whipped it around the Wolves wall and into a slither of space between the goalkeeper and the post, securing a point for his side.

VERDICT: This is where referee subjectivity comes into play. The referee in this match thought it was a foul and he gave a free-kick. What I will say is as a referee sometimes you are lucky and sometimes you are unlucky. The consequence of giving that free-kick is a goal. If the goal isn't scored, we wouldn't be talking about it, but some will give a free-kick, others won't. That's how it is.

West Ham 1-1 Man City

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Ham's draw with Manchester City in the Premier League

INCIDENT: Czech Republic internationals Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal exchanged passes in a tight space near the right touchline, before the former swung in a cross from which Michail Antonio found the net with an instinctive bicycle kick. City protested that Soucek had handled the ball in the build-up, but VAR Peter Bankes back at Stockley Park decided it was accidental and allowed the goal to stand.

VERDICT: It would have been ruled out last season, but this is where people are applauding the new rule. I'm still not convinced Soucek actually handles the ball, Does it come of his thigh or his hip? Does it cushion off his arm? I'm not sure of that, but what I am sure of is that as it goes on he retrieves the ball, he doesn't score from that, he doesn't cross from that because the ball is crossed by another player, Antoni scores a wonderful goal and everybody is happy.

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