Was Man Utd defender Victor Lindelof lucky not to concede a penalty for handball against West Ham? Did Chelsea centre-back Thiago Silva foul Bournemouth forward Dominic Solanke in the box? Dermot Gallagher has his say in the latest Ref Watch...
Monday 8 May 2023 21:50, UK
Dermot Gallagher dissects the flashpoints from the weekend's action, including Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof's controversial handball incident against West Ham.
INCIDENT: Let's start with the game at the London Stadium on Super Sunday. West Ham weren't awarded a penalty when Lindelof appeared to move his arm towards the ball in the box during the first half. Were you surprised this wasn't given?
DERMOT'S VERDICT: "Lindelof is extremely lucky. It should have been a penalty."
DERMOT SAYS: "I think he panics and moves his arm towards the ball. If a penalty was given he couldn't argue. The VAR decided it had hit him on the hand and the hand was in front of the body, so it wasn't outstretched. But what you would say is when you throw your arm like that and move it towards the ball, if you get punished you can't argue.
"The feedback from the PGMOL was that although his arm was out, it hit his hand and his hand was in front of his body, so they were of the opinion that he had focused on that, whether that's right or wrong I don't know.
"The handball rule is really tough. They felt his hand was in front of his body and wasn't making his body bigger, but I think because of the way he moved his arm towards the ball, that's what sold it to me that it should have been a penalty."
Stephen Warnock: "It's a clear penalty and you can understand why David Moyes and West Ham were so angry at the decision. The referee on the pitch should have been given the power to go over to the monitor and look at it again."
INCIDENT: VAR had another lengthy check over a challenge from Tyrell Malacia on Jarrod Bowen. It looked like the Manchester United left-back's studs caught the back of the West Ham forward's leg. Was a yellow card a fair punishment or should it have been red?
DERMOT'S VERDICT: "I thought it was a yellow card."
DERMOT SAYS: "It's not a nice tackle, he catches him. He's close and doesn't come from a great distance, so it doesn't gather speed. It's quickly down the back of his leg. It's not as if his foot is a long time going down it. I think the referee got that right."
Stephen Warnock: "Malacia knows what he's doing but a yellow card's the right decision."
INCIDENT: West Ham forward Michail Antonio thought he'd put the hosts 2-0 up but referee Peter Bankes deemed he'd fouled Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea in the build-up. Was there enough in this?
DERMOT'S VERDICT: "It's a foul on the goalkeeper."
DERMOT SAYS: "Antonio knocked the goalkeeper's arm and stopped him from playing the ball. This is quite consistent with what we've seen across many seasons. You only have to knock the goalkeeper's arm a few inches and he's lost the ball and that's consistent with what we've seen, even in the seasons when I refereed.
"You've got to be very careful with the goalkeepers because they use their hands and if they get knocked a little bit, it makes a massive difference."
INCIDENT: To St James' Park now and there was a penalty overturned in Newcastle's game against Arsenal. It was given for a handball by Gunners defender Jakub Kiwior but referee Chris Kavanagh was sent to the monitor to have a look because it actually comes off his thigh first. Was this a good use of VAR?
DERMOT SAYS: "I said straight away that this will be overturned when I saw the angle of the ball hitting his thigh. I'm not even convinced it hit his hand. If it does then it certainly comes off his body first.
"Once the VAR looked at it I was quite confident they would send him to the screen. I was equally confident he would overturn it."
INCIDENT: Bournemouth thought they should have been awarded a penalty during their loss to Chelsea at the Vitality when Dominic Solanke was brought down by Thiago Silva. Did the Cherries forward get the ball first or did the Brazilian time his tackle perfectly?
DERMOT'S VERDICT: "I don't think it's a penalty."
DERMOT SAYS: "When I saw it first, every instinct said Silva must have played the ball because of where it goes. When I see it again, he doesn't play the ball, Solanke plays the ball first. But when you watch it closely, Silva doesn't make real contact with Solanke either. He doesn't actually hit him.
"Both players' feet arrive on the ground, so it's not a penalty. Solanke plays the ball but Silva doesn't play Solanke. Both their feet are on the ground."
INCIDENT: Manchester City were given a spot-kick in their win over Leeds when Pascal Struijk sent Phil Foden tumbling to the ground. Can the left-back have any complaints?
DERMOT SAYS: "I don't think he has to make the tackle. When you put your leg out like that, I think it's a penalty especially when you see the incident from behind the goal. Struijk doesn't get the ball and he certainly gets Foden."
INCIDENT: To Molineux and there were shouts from Aston Villa for a penalty when the ball struck the arm of Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes. What did you make of this one?
DERMOT SAYS: "There's always going to be a shout once it strikes the arm but that's all it does. His arm is in, it's close to his body and it always is close to his body. It's so close as well, you're never going to get a penalty for that."
INCIDENT: Derby missed out on the League One play-offs and there was a huge moment in their defeat by Sheffield Wednesday. Curtis Davies gave away a penalty and received a red card for bringing down Marvin Johnson. Was this the correct decision?
DERMOT'S VERDICT: "I'm not convinced it's even a foul."
DERMOT SAYS: "If it is a foul, which I think is harsh, then it's certainly not denying a goalscoring opportunity because you can see the goalkeeper there and the defender getting back.
"The forward's not going towards the goal either. For me, it's not a clear goalscoring opportunity."
INCIDENT: To Scotland now and Hearts defender Alex Cochrane was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity after the referee was told to go to the pitchside monitor. Was it harsh to upgrade this to a red card?
DERMOT'S VERDICT: "I think it's a red card."
DERMOT SAYS: "One of my friends is a Hearts fan and he sent me a message saying he didn't think it was right. But I actually think it's a red card and the reason I think it's a red card is because at the point of contact, the defender is not going to catch the player.
"Cochrane brings him down, he's going to head towards goal, the goalkeeper can't get the ball and the law says 'can he get a shot away?'
"I understand in normal play why it's a yellow card because he can't see that, but when he goes to the screen I think it's an obvious red card."