Dermot Gallagher analyses the key incidents from Arsenal's defeat at Aston Villa and Liverpool's turnaround victory over Crystal Palace; Cristian Romero's challenge on Callum Wilson also looked at, along with the ensuing scuffle between Yves Bissouma and Bruno Guimaraes
Monday 11 December 2023 13:51, UK
Former referee Dermot Gallagher dissects the flashpoints from the weekend's Premier League and Scottish Premiership action.
INCIDENT: Arsenal scored a late equaliser at Aston Villa, but it was ruled out for a handball by Kai Havertz.
DERMOT SAYS: "It is key that this was called on the field. There is no doubt that it hits his arm and he puts the ball in the net, so under the new law that is how it is.
"The good thing is that the referee did spot it. The VAR checks because the ball has gone in the net but it was the ref who disallowed the goal and quite rightly."
INCIDENT: Arsenal were not awarded a penalty at Villa after Gabriel Jesus went down in the box under a challenge from Douglas Luiz. VAR Michael Salisbury did not recommend a review.
DERMOT SAYS: "I didn't think it was a penalty. They just got tangled up.
"They've got this threshold. It's not about whether the VAR agrees with the decision or not. It's about whether it meets the threshold for a clear and obvious error."
INCIDENT: Jordan Ayew was sent off after receiving two bookings in the space of 15 minutes. His second booking was for a foul on Harvey Elliott on the halfway line.
Was it enough to be sent off?
DERMOT SAYS: "I thought not [a second booking]. All I can think is the referee thinks Ayew is breaking a promising attack, which he's not."
INCIDENT: There was a lengthy check from VAR John Brooks for Crystal Palace's penalty that was given in the second half. Do these two incidents raise whether it is a clear and obvious error if it takes so long?
DERMOT SAYS: "I was watching this game live and I didn't think it was a penalty at the time I watched it.
"When I heard they were checking the penalty, my first thought was, 'good luck with that'.
"But when I saw the replay, I thought, 'he's going to give this' and the more it went on, the more I thought he [Brooks] was going to give it.
"The more he watched it, the more he was convinced it was a penalty. Then the referee went to the screen, it took a long time, but they gave a penalty.
"One of the problems I have now is when you see it afterwards, you know what they're looking at and you can't unsee it.
"The referee has all options when he goes to the screen... he's not duty-bound to give a penalty."
Stephen Warnock: "Right and wrong comes into it, clear and obvious doesn't. It's exactly the same as the Aston Villa one [Luiz on Jesus] where you look at it and go, 'he's kicked through'.
"The Aston Villa one is more of a penalty than this one... we're after consistency."
Sue Smith: "If you give one, you have to give both of them."
INCIDENT: Spurs defender Cristian Romero is booked for a stamp on Newcastle striker Callum Wilson. VAR checks the incident but does not upgrade the challenge to a red card.
DERMOT SAYS: "It didn't leap out to me as a red card. But a lot of people have said it has. It is quite amazing how many red-card challenges we have had now.
"We have had 32 red cards after 16 rounds of matches and only 30 last season altogether. It's amazing how the red cards are mounting up and people want more."
Stephen Warnock: "We are gobsmacked that you have just said that. It is absolutely baffling that that is not a red card."
Sue Smith: "As soon as I saw it I thought it was going to be a red card. Really silly action from Romero."
INCIDENT: There was a clash between Yves Bissouma and Bruno Guimaraes after the challenge by Romero on Wilson that went unpunished.
DERMOT SAYS: "Why are we talking about this? It is just incredible. It could easily be a red. I don't understand why somebody does that.
"If you look at that cynically, it could go from a yellow card to three red cards."
Stephen Warnock: "Sometimes the right thing to do is nothing in that situation."
Sue Smith: "I didn't think it was a red. It was more of a 'get off me' than a headbutt."
INCIDENT: Crystal Palace were awarded a first-half penalty against Liverpool but it was overturned for a foul on Endo by Will Hughes in the build-up.
DERMOT SAYS: "I thought it was a foul and I still think it is now.
"I also think it was a foul by Van Dijk [on Edouard for the awarding of the penalty] and a yellow card.
"Hughes pushes him over and catches him with a leg. When you look at it again, it's very difficult to say it's not a foul."
INCIDENT: Rangers' Jose Cifuentes caught Amadou Bakayoko with his studs and was sent off. Referee Kevin Clancy brandished a yellow card but on the advice of VAR Steven Kirkland, he upgraded it to a red card. Rangers have appealed the decision.
DERMOT SAYS: "It's the way he's come in. He's almost stretched to make sure he gets the top of him.
"I think it's a red card. There's no need to do that whatsoever."