Ref Watch: Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Flamini fortunate, says Dermot Gallagher

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07:  Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal is shown a yellow card by referee Kevin Friend during the Barclays Premier League match bet
Image: Dermot Gallagher analyses the controversial calls from the weekend's action

Ref Watch is back to debate another batch of controversial decisions from the weekend's football.

After a weekend of questionable red card decisions, disallowed goals and penalty shouts, former top-flight referee Dermot Gallagher joined Rob Wotton in the Sky Sports News HQ studio to go through each contentious call.

Read on for Gallagher's verdict...

MATCH: Chelsea v Manchester United, Sunday

Image: 'No penalty' was the right decision here, says Gallagher

INCIDENT: Chelsea appeal for a penalty after John Terry's shot appears to hit Daley Blind's arm.

SCENARIO: A cross comes in from the right and Terry sends a volley towards goal; Blind throws himself in front of the shot with his right arm outstretched and blocks the effort. The ball hits Blind's left arm, tucked in close to his body, and goes out for a corner. No penalty given.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

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GALLAGHER SAYS: The ball strikes him (Blind), he does not strike the ball. The arm outstretched is not the arm the ball strikes. It hits the arm tucked into his chest and it would have hit his chest anyhow - I think it would have been very, very harsh. Also, it has come at such speed and when you look at it further on, the referee can't see it.

MATCH: Chelsea v Manchester United, Sunday

Ref watch: Daley Blind brought down Diego Costa
Image: Daley Blind brings down Diego Costa on the edge of the box

INCIDENT: Blind pushes Diego Costa over on the edge of the Manchester United area.

SCENARIO: A ball is played over the top for Costa and, as he tries to drive into the penalty area, Blind shoves him over. The striker falls inside the area with a free-kick and yellow card awarded.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: Definitely outside the area, definitely a foul and definitely a yellow card. He's got a promising attack but Costa delays a little bit and then goes down inside the area. For me, it's a good decision by both parties because the assistant has probably said 'that's where it happened' [outside the box] and no [it was not denying a clear goalscoring opportunity].

MATCH: Chelsea v Manchester United, Sunday

Louis van Gaal complains to the fourth official
Image: Louis van Gaal complains to the fourth official

INCIDENT: Full-time whistle blown on 96 minutes as United try to counter-attack.

SCENARIO: Manchester United clear a Chelsea corner and try to counter-attack but are stopped in their tracks as the referee blows the full-time whistle. Six minutes added-time had been announced but, during that time, Chelsea had scored and a substitution had taken place.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: If he'd have played on, nobody could have argued, the fact he didn't play on left him a little bit vulnerable.

GALLAGHER SAYS: I think he (Van Gaal) felt aggrieved because six minutes was put up and in the six minutes Chelsea scored and a substitute, Ander Herrerra, came on. United attack and the only winner then can be United because Chelsea aren't going to get the ball back [before the final whistle] and that's why he's aggrieved because the whistle goes smack on six minutes. Unfortunately, he's realised that and the fourth official is in a position where he can't defend it.

MATCH: Manchester City v Leicester, Saturday

Pablo Zabaleta is brought down by Christian Fuchs
Image: Pablo Zabaleta was on the line when he was brought down by Christian Fuchs

INCIDENT: Christian Fuchs trips Pablo Zabaleta as the Manchester City full-back breaks into the area.

SCENARIO: Zabaleta cuts inside Fuchs and is tripped as he tries to get into the area, despite trying to jump over the challenge. Replays show the foul was on the line. A free-kick was awarded.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Technically incorrect decision, however no choice but to give a free-kick rather than a penalty.

GALLAGHER SAYS: The line is part of the penalty area and I think this is a really, really tough call. If you slow it down his foot is on the line, but what I would say is that you can show me as many pictures as you want of his foot on that line but you have to say the referee could never, ever be sure where he was and he is compelled to give a free-kick. Although you can show that his foot is on the line, and I would have to say yes, that is a penalty, it's not possible to give that. He has to be convinced it's a penalty but, in my view, he can't possibly be.

MATCH: Stoke v Everton, Saturday

Tom Cleverley fouled by Jack Butland
Image: Should Jack Butland have been carded for bringing Cleverley down?

INCIDENT: Everton awarded a penalty after Jack Butland brought down Tom Cleverley.

SCENARIO: Cleverley is played through on goal, knocks the ball away from goal to try and go round Butland and he is taken down by the goalkeeper. Penalty given but no card for Butland.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: It's a foul, and it's a foul he (Butland) doesn't have to make because the ball is going away from goal and I also don't think it is a yellow card. The referee has done well there.

MATCH: Southampton v West Ham, Saturday

Victor Wanyama sees red for this foul on Dimitri Payet
Image: Victor Wanyama saw red for this foul on Dimitri Payet

INCIDENT: Victor Wanyama sent off for a tackle on Dimitri Payet.

SCENARIO: Wanyama attempts to tackle Payet but misses the ball and takes the West Ham midfielder down with his back leg coming round in a scissor motion. The referee gives Wanyama a straight red card.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: What's interesting is that I don't think the referee's gut reaction is 'red card', but I think when he runs it through his mind or whether he gets advice from the fourth official looking in, he's taken his time and has come to the right decision. It's a bad enough tackle, it's a scissor tackle and a tackle he doesn't have to make.

MATCH: Bournemouth v Arsenal, Sunday

Image: Flamini should have been sent off his this tackle, according to Gallagher

INCIDENT: Mathieu Flamini is shown a yellow card for a lunging tackle on Dan Gosling.

SCENARIO: Flamini dives into a tackle, two-footed, on Gosling around 30 yards from his own goal. He plays the ball but also the man. Bournemouth are awarded a free-kick and Flamini is shown a yellow card.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Incorrect decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: All I can think is the referee thinks he's (Flamini) played the ball. He has got the ball, I don't think there is any doubt about that but he is out of control, it's two-footed and he's also caught the man. He plays the ball but also plays the man and that is the difference; you can't use the ball to go through the man. Kevin (Friend, the referee) sees him get the ball and he doesn't compute anything else, you see him say to the players 'he's got the ball.' I think that's why he yellow cards him.

MATCH: Bournemouth v Arsenal, Sunday

Giroud foul on Smith
Image: Giroud should have been shown 'at least' a yellow card, for this challenge, says Gallagher

INCIDENT: Olivier Giroud evades a booking after treading on Adam Smith's Achilles after the full-back had past him with the ball.

SCENARIO: Smith has the ball on the right touchline around halfway, Giroud goes over to challenge and stands down on the back of the defender's foot as he moves away from him. Free-kick given but no card shown.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Incorrect decision, should be at least a yellow card.

GALLAGHER SAYS: I think this is a really bad tackle, I really do. He should be punished with at least a yellow card. Whether he means it or not I don't know, but he catches Smith right across the Achilles with his studs. On any given day, in a feisty match it could easily be a red card but it has to be a minimum of a yellow card for me. In that game [the referee's] tolerance level was a bit too high.

MATCH: Manchester City v Leicester, Saturday

Was Sergio Aguero offside?
Image: Was Sergio Aguero offside?

INCIDENT: Sergio Aguero scores a consolation goal for Man City with a header late on.

SCENARIO: Aguero is clearly in an offside position as the ball is played but moves back in an attempt to get onside before the cross comes in from the Man City right. When the ball is delivered, Aguero, unmarked eight yards out, heads into the far corner. The goal is given despite Leicester appeals for offside.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Offside, just.

GALLAGHER SAYS: I think it's probably just offside but it's very, very difficult for the assistant to give because he's moving back. The assistant has to be in line with the second rear-most defender, which he is, but I think the fact that Aguero comes back and then goes forward again, that's what deceives him.

MATCH: Newcastle v West Brom, Saturday

Tiote saw his goal chalked off for offisde
Image: Tiote saw his goal chalked off for offisde

INCIDENT: Cheick Tiote's shot from range finds the back of the net but is ruled out for offside despite not hitting another player.

SCENARIO: Tiote shoots from long range and the ball curls past the wrong-footed Ben Foster in the West Brom goal but the goal is ruled out for offside with Aleksandar Mitrovic, standing in an offside position, adjudged to be interfering with play as he blocked the goalkeeper's line of vision.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: When it is hit, the assistant knows that Mitrovic is stood in an offside position, what he doesn't know is how he is interfering with the goalkeeper. When Lee Mason goes across, the assistant has said to him 'this is where he is' and I think between them they have come to the right decision.

MATCH: Rangers v Kilmarnock, Saturday

Higginbotham was quickly shown a red card after this challenge
Image: Higginbotham was quickly shown a red card after this challenge

INCIDENT: Kilmarnock's Kallum Higginbotham shown a straight red card for a high tackle on James Tavernier.

SCENARIO: With the ball bouncing near the touchline, Higginbotham stretches to try and put the ball out of play as Tavernier tries to control it. However, he goes in high, with his studs showing, and catches Tavernier on the follow through. He is swiftly shown a red card.

GALLAGHER'S VIEW: Correct decision.

GALLAGHER SAYS: It's definitely a red card and this is an occasion where by quickly getting the red card out, it stops everybody coming in. Like in the Bournemouth game, everyone came charging in because they didn't see a card. On this occasion, the tackle is very high and very dangerous so it's a red card every day of the week. By getting the card out so quickly, the referee has stopped it escalating.

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